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TRANSACTIONS 


THE  GAELIG  SOCIETY  OF  INVERNESS.  I 


VOLUME     XXL 
1806-97 


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TRANSACTIONS 


THE  GAELIC  SOGIETY  OF  INVERNESS. 


VOLUME    XXI. 


1896-97. 


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V 


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TRANSACTIONS 


OP  THE 


GAELIC   SOCIETY 

OF    INVERNESS. 


VOLUME    XXI. 

1896-97. 


(Sfonn  nan  (Satbkeal  an  (SnaiUcsn  a  ©wilt. 


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THE  GAELIC  SOCIETY   OF   INVERNESS. 


1899. 

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Iitbertus* : 


PRINTED   BY  THE   NORTHERN   COUNTIES   NEWSPAPER  AND   PRINTING   AND   PUBLISHING 
COMPANY,   LIMITED. 


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INTRODUCTION. 


This,  the  21st  volume  of  the  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness  Tran- 
sactions; though  a  majority  volume,  is  published  in  the  Society's 
28th  year  of  existence.  The  publication  of  a  yearly  volume  has 
long  been  found  impossible  or  impracticable ;  and  this  volume, 
like  its  two  immediate  predecessors,  contains  a  year  and  a  half  s 
work — from  January  of  1896  to  June  of  1897.  The  volume 
claims  to  be  unique  in  one  respect :  it  is  the  largest  which  the 
Society  has  yet  issued,  coming  as  it  does  within  a  few  pages  of 
the  five  hundred.  Its  characteristics  otherwise  are  the  same  as  the 
later  volumes  of  the  Society — few  general  or  elementary  papers, 
but  several  papers  containing  original  research  or  original  docu- 
ments. It  is  not  invidious  to  draw  attention  to  the  historical  or 
documentary  value  of  the  "  Bighouse  Papers"  and  the  "  Gleanings 
from  the  Cluny  Charter  Chest;"  but  it  will  be  seen  that  the 
Society  has  not  forgotten  the  other  aspects  of  its  work — Highland 
folklore,  Gaelic  literature  in  all  its  phases,  Gaelic  dialects,  and 
local  as  well  as  clan  history. 

Our  death-roll  for  this  volume  is  heavy,  both  in  number  and 
quality.  Alexander  Mackenzie,  well  known  under  the  sobriquet 
of  the  "  Clach"  (which  arose  from  the  name  of  his  first  shop  in 
Inverness — "  Clachnacuddin  House"),  died  on  the  22nd  January, 
1898.  He  was  one  of  the  most  notable  men  in  the  Highlands 
for  the  last  generation — Highland  politician,  editor,  and  clan 
historian.  Born  on  a  croft  in  Gairloch  in  1838,  he  had  little 
opportunity  for  schooling,  and  at  an  early  age  he  had  to  earn  his 
living  as  navvy,  ploughman,  and  the  like.  About  1860  he  joined 
the  Scotch  Drapery  Trade  in  England,  and  soon  made  his  way  in 
business.     In   1869  he   settled   in  Inverness,   first  as  clothier, 


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308261 


VI.  INTRODUCTION. 

developing  latterly  into  editor  and  publisher  of  the  Celtic  Magazine 
and  Scottish  Highlander.  He  has  left  seven  clan  histories,  all 
works  of  great  genealogical  value.  He  was  one  of  the  founders  of 
the  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness,  and  took  an  active  part  in  all  its 
proceedings  to  the  last.  Sir  Henry  C.  Macandrew,  who  had  held 
the  office  of  Chief  of  the  Society,  and  who  so  often  acted  as 
chairman  of  its  public  meetings  when  the  actual  chiefs  could  not 
be  present,  died  on  the  26th  September  of  last  year ;  he  was  born 
in  1832.  Another  enthusiastic  and  energetic  member  was  the  late 
Captain  Macra  Chisholm  of  Glassburn.  Within  the  last  few  weeks 
the  Highland  publishing  world  has  had  to  mourn  the  loss  of  two  of 
its  most  valued  heads.  Mr  Archibald  Sinclair  of  Glasgow,  "  deagh 
mhac  an  deagh  athar,"  died  on  the  1st  February,  at  the  early  age 
of  48.  From  his  "  Celtic  Press  "  have  issued  many  Gaelic  publi 
cations  during  the  last  thirty  years.  Mr  Robert  Livingston, 
manager  of  the  Northern  Chronicle,  and  practically  the  Society's 
publisher,  died  suddenly  at  Edinburgh  on  the  3rd  March,  much 
regretted  by  everyone  that  knew  him.  The  poetess,  Mrs  Mary 
Macpherson  or  "  Mairi  Nighean  Iain  Bhain,"  must  also  be  added 
to  our  death  roll.  She  was  born  at  Skeabost,  in  Skye,  in  1821, 
and  died  there  in  November,  1898,  at  the  ripe  age  of  77  years. 

In  taking  our  customary  glance  at  Celtic  literature,  we  have 
to  record  a  fair  output  for  the  Highlands.  Gaelic  works  are  few. 
Surgeon-Colonel  John  Macgregor  has  greatly  enhanced  his  poetic 
reputation  by  his  Luinneagan  Luaineach  (Nutt).  Two  volumes 
are  now  published  in  handy  and  cheap  form  of  Kev.  Mr  Macrury's 
racy  and  accurate  translation  of  the  "Arabian  Nights" — 
Sgeulachdan  Arabianach  ("Northern  Chronicle").  Dr  George 
Henderson  has  laid  the  Gaelic  world  under  a  great  debt  of 
obligation  to  him  for  his  excellent  work  Leabhar  nan  Gleann, 
which  contain  a  three  leading  features :  one-third  of  it  consists  of 
transliterations  from  the  Fernaig  MS.  to  the  extent  of  half  the 
MS.,  one-half  is  taken  up  with  a  collection  of  Hebridean  poetry, 
and  the  rest  contains  an  English  translation  of  Prof.  Zimmer's 
important  paper  on  "  Matriarchy  among  the  Picts."  Mr  Henry 
Whyte  has  published,  under  the  title  of  Leabhar  Na  Ceilidh,  an 


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INTRODUCTION.  Vll. 

excellent  selection  of  Gaelic  readings  and  recitations  in  prose  and 
verse.  A  new  edition  of  Rob  Donn's  poems,  edited  by  Mr  Hew 
Morrison,  with  a  memoir,  has  given  rise  to  a  very  lively  contro- 
versy as  to  whether  the  poet  was  a  Calder  or  a  Mackay.  Of 
English  works  on  Highland  subjects,  we  may  first  mention  the 
late  Alex.  Mackenzie's  posthumous  "History  of  the  Munros,"  which 
merits  to  be  placed  among  his  best  books.  Dr  Charles  Fraser- 
Mackintosh  has  published  the  "Minor  Septs  of  Clan  Chattan," 
wherein  he  shews  his  usual  clan  enthusiasm  and  accuracy  of 
research.  Mr  W.  Drummond-Norie  has  written  a  most  readable 
popular  history  of  Lochaber  under  the  title  of  "  Loyal  Lochaber," 
where  the  legendary  element  bulks  largely.  "  Inverness  County" 
was  published  last  year  by  the  Blackwoods  in  their  County 
Histories  series ;  Dr  Cameron  Lees,  the  author,  has  done  the  work 
with  his  usual  literary  power.  Captain  Ellice's  "  Place-Names  of 
Glengarry  and  Glenquoich  "  is  a  very  creditable  performance,  and 
we  should  like  to  see  more  ©f  this  class  of  work  done ;  the  last 
similar  book  was  Mr  Liddall's  "Fife  and  Kinross  Place-Names" 
(1896).  Mr  E.  B.  Nicholson,  the  Bodleian  Librarian,  spent  some 
vacations  in  Golspie,  and  the  result  is  an  "  omnium  gatherum  " 
work,  entitled  "Golspie:  Contributions  to  its  Folklore,"  very 
readable,  and,  save  on  Pictish  inscriptions,  reliable.  Mr  Andrew 
Lang  has  edited  a  Spy's  Account  of  the  "Highlands  in  1750," 
with  introduction  and  notes.  It  is  a  useful  book,  giving  a 
valuable  if  prejudiced  report  upon  the  clans  and  their  capacities. 
•Of  new  editions  we  may  mention  Dr  Kennedy's  "Days  of  the 
Fathers  in  Ross-shire,"  edited  by  the  Revs.  J.  Noble  and  J. 
Kennedy;  "Leabhar  Nan  Cnoc,"  republished  largely  at  the 
expense  of  that  enthusiastic  Highlander,  Mr  John  Mackay  of 
Hereford ;  and  Mackay's  Collection  of  Pipe-Music  (Logan  &  Co). 
In  regard  to  periodicals  and  journals,  The  Caledonian  Medical 
Jowrnal  and  the  Highland  News  deserve  special  mention  for  their 
Gaelic  and  Highland  matter.  Mactalla,  of  Cape  Breton  Island, 
still  continues  to  be  our  only  purely  Gaelic  journal. 

Outside   Scotland   there   has   been   some   slackness    in   book 
publishing,  but  magazine  articles  are  as  numerous  as  ever.     A 


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Till.  INTRODUCTION. 

new  periodical  has  been  added  to  the  list,  again  "made  u* 
Germany  •"  it  is  called  the  "  Archiv  fur  Celtische  Lexikographie," 
and  is  edited  by  Dr  Whitley  Stokes  and  Professor  Kuno  Meyer. 
The  "Revue  Celtique  "  and  the  "  Zeitshrift  fur  Celtische  Philologie" 
flourish  greatly.  The  last  number  of  the  latter  contains  an 
article  on  the  Fernaig  MS.  by  Dr  C.  Ludwig  Stern,  marked  by  his 
usual  brilliancy.  It  should  be  read  along  with  Dr  Henderson's 
Leabhar  nan  Gleann.  "The  Annals  of  Tigernach"  have  been 
published  in  full  by  Dr  Stokes  in  the  Revue  Celtique.  Mr  Nutt's 
second  volume  of  Bran,  the  Son  of  Febal,  is  published,  and  "con- 
tains a  brilliant  discussion  on  the  "  Celtic  Doctrine  of  Rebirth."" 
Miss  Hull  has  published  with  Mr  Nutt  the  whole  story  of 
Cuchulinn,  under  the  title  of  the  "Cuchulinn  Saga"  —  an 
excellent  piece  of  work.  Prof.  Macalister  has  written  the  first 
part  of  a  work  on  "  Irish  Epigraphy,"  dealing  with  the  Ogams. 
The  "  Celtic  Renaissance "  seems  to  be  in  abeyance  at  present  -r 
but  we  had  one  or  two  excellent  novels  dealing  with  the  High- 
lands during  the  last  year.  Mr  Neil  Munro's  "  John  Splendid," 
a  novel  of  the  Montrose  wars,  is  written  with  the  true  Highland 
spirit ;  and  the  late  William  Black  published  at  the  same  time  hia 
iC  Wild  Eelin,"  the  scene  of  which  is  laid  mostly  in  Inverness  town. 
It  is  one  of  Mr  Black's  best  efforts. 

A  Pan-Celtic  congress  was  lately  held  at  Dublin,  and  one  of 
the  most  interesting  items  brought  forward  was  the  distribution 
and  number  of  the  Celtic  population  in  Europe.  About  three  and 
a  quarter  millions  speak  one  Celtic  tongue  or  other.  Of  these 
Brittany  comes  first  with  1,322,000,  of  whom  679,700  speak 
Breton  only.  Then  comes  Wales  with  910,000,  of  whom  as  many 
as  508,000  speak  nothing  but  Welsh,  leaving  402,000  who  speak 
both  Welsh  and  English.  Ireland  has  680,000  Gaelic-speaking 
people,  of  whom  38,000  can  speak  Gaelic  only.  Scotland  comes- 
next  with  a  quarter  of  a  million  Gaelic-speaking  people,  of  whom 
42,700  speak  Gaelic  only.  In  the  Isle  of  Man  from  two  to  three^ 
thousand  speak  Manx  Gaelic.  The  divisional  sections  in  Scotland 
are  very  interesting.  Most  people  believe  that  Gaelic  is  confined 
to  the  west  and  the  isles,  but  (as  returned  by  the  census  of  1891)* 


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INTRODUCTION.  IX. 

even  the  eastern  and  southern  counties  have  a  large  proportion- 
There  are  fewest  in  Galloway,  but  it  is  certainly  astonishing  that 
there  are  6000  Gaelic-speaking  people  in  Mid-Lothian,  500  in 
Berwickshire,  100  in  Haddingtonshire,  174  in  Roxburghshire,  and 
800  in  Fifeshire ;  while  between  Dundee  and  Peterhead  (leaving 
out  Perthshire)  there  are  6000.  Lanarkshire  comes  out  with  no 
fewer  than  25,000;  Inverness-shire,  Ross  and  Cromarty,  and 
Argyll  come  first  with  respectively  62,000,  56,000,  and  42,000. 
The  large  Celtic  Colonial  population  must  be  nearly  as  numerous 
as  the  European;  but  no  attempt  has  been  made  as  yet  to 
estimate  it  all.  Canada,  according  to  the  latest  estimate,  has  a 
quarter  of  a  million  of  its  inhabitants  capable  of  speaking  Gaelic. 

In  the  preface  to  our  last  volume  we  stated  that  the  Scotch 
Code  recognised  Gaelic  in  four  different  ways  : — (1)  The  children'^ 
intelligence  might  be  tested  in  Gaelic,  and  Gaelic  might  be  taught 
for  this  purpose  during  Government  hours ;  (2)  an  extra  Gaelic- 
speaking  P.T.  could  be  employed  for  bilingual  instruction,  and  a 
shilling  extra  of  grant  would  then  be  paid  on  the  average  attendance, 
such  P.T.  also  receiving  a  grant  like  any  other  P.T.;  (3)  Gaelic 
might  be  taken  as  a  specific  subject;  and  (4)  Gaelic-speaking 
P.T.'s  might  receive  additional—  as  many  as  for  Latin  and  Greek 
— marks  for  Gaelic  at  the  Normal  entry  examination,  over  and 
above  the  two  languages  to  which  other  P.T.'s  are  confined.  The 
Code  of  1899,  which  is  simply  revolutionary,  though  in  the  right 
direction,  in  many  vital  matters  of  education,  has  considerably 
altered  the  position  of  Gaelic.  Only  points  2  and  4  appear  in  the- 
new  Code  ;  1  and  3  have  disappeared.  Number  one  may  easily 
be  restored,  but  Gaelic  as  a  specific  subject  is  doomed,  for  the  Code 
has  abolished  Specifics.  There  is  no  separate  payment  for  any 
such,  though  the  standard  of  examination  insisted  on  in  the 
Advanced  Department  is  founded  on  the  old  specific  schedule. 
No  doubt  teachers  will  be  allowed  to  take  Gaelic  as  part  of  the 
Advanced  Department  curriculum,  to  be  counted  on  an  equality 
with  Latin  or  French  ;  but  this  point  also  requires  clearing  up. 

Inverness,  15th  March,  1899. 


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COMUNN  GAELIG  INBHIRNIS. 


CO-SHUIDHEACHADH. 

1.  'Se  ainm  a'  Chomuinn  "Comunn  Gailig  Inbhir-Nis." 

2.  'S  e  tha  an  run  a'  Chomuinn : — Na  buill  a  dheanamh 
iomlan  's  a'  Ghailig ;  cinneas  Canaine,  Bardachd  agus  Ciuil  na 
Gaidhealtachd ;  Bardachd,  Seanachas,  Sgeulachd,  Leabhraichean 
agus  Sgriobhanna  's  a'  chanain  sin  a  thearnadh  o  dhearmad ; 
Leabhar-lann  a  chur  suas  ann  am  baile  Inbhir-Nis  de  leabhraichibh 
agus  sgriobhannaibh — ann  an  canain  sam  bith — a  bhuineas  do 
Chaileachd,  Ionnsachadh,  Eachdraidheachd  agus  Sheanachasaibh 
nan  Gaidheal  no  do  thairbhe  na  Gaidhealtachd ;  c6ir  agus  cliu  nan 
Gaidheal  a  dhion ;  agus  na  Gaidhei!  a  shoirbheachadh  a  ghna  ge 
b'e  ait'  am  bi  iad. 

3.  'S  iad  a  bhitheas  'nam  buill,  cuideachd  a  tha  gabhail  suim 
do  runtaibh  a'  Chomuinn ;  a^us  so  mar  gheibh  iad  a  staigh : — 
Tairgidh  aon  bhall  an  t-iarradair,  daingnichidh  ball  eile  an  tairgse, 
agus,  aig  an  ath  choinneamh,  ma  roghnaicheas  a!  mhor-chuid  le 
crannchur,  nithear  ball  dhith-se  no  dheth-san  cho  luath  's  a 
phaidhear  an  comh-thoirt;  cuirear  crainn  le  ponair  dhubh  agus 
gheal,  ach,  gu  so  bhi  dligheach,  feumaidh  tri  buill  dheug  an  crainn 
a  chur.  Feudaidh  an  Comunn  Urram  Cheannardan  a  thoirt  do 
urrad  'us  seachd  daoine  cliuiteach. 

4.  Paidhidh  BaU  Urramach,  W  bhliadhna  .  £0  10     6 

Ball  Cumanta 0     5     0 

Foghlainte 0     10 

Agus  ni  Ball-beatha  aon  chomh-thoirt  de .  7     7     0 

5.  'S  a'  cheud-mhios,  gach  bliadhria,  roghnaichear,  le  crainn, 
€o-chomhairle  a  riaghlas  gnothuichean  a'  Chomuinn,  *s  e  sin — aon 


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GAELIC  SOCIETY  OF  INVERNESS. 


CONSTITUTION. 

1.  The  Society  shall  be  called  the  "Gaelic  Society  op 
Invebnbss." 

2.  The  objects  of  the  Society  are  the  perfecting  of  the  Mem- 
bers in  the  use  of  the  Gaelic  language;  the  cultivation  of  the 
language,  poetry,  and  music  of  the  Scottish  Highlands;  the  res- 
cuing from  oblivion  of  Celtic  Poetry,  traditions,  legends,  books, 
and  manuscripts ;  the  establishing  in  Inverness  of  a  library,  to 
consist  of  books  and  manuscripts,  in  whatever  language,  bearing 
upon  the  genius,  the  literature,  the  history,  the  antiquities,  and 
the  material  interests  of  the  Highlands  and  Highland  people ;  the 
vindication  of  the  rights  and  character  of  the  Gaelic  people ;  and, 
generally,  the  furtherance  of  their  interests  whether  at  home  or 
abroad. 

3.  The  Society  shall  consist  of  persons  who  take  a  lively  in- 
terest in  its  objects.  Admission  to  be  as  follows  : — The  candidate 
shall  be  proposed  by  one  member,  seconded  by  another,  balloted 
for  at  the  next  meeting,  and,  if  he  or  she  have  a  majority  of  votes 
and  have  paid  the  subscription,  be  declared  a  member.  The  ballot 
shall  be  taken  with  black  beans  and  white ;  and  no  election  shall 
be  valid  unless  thirteen  members  vote.  The  Society  has  power  to 
elect  distinguished  men  as  Honorary  Chieftains  to  the  number  of 
seven. 

4.  The  Annual  Subscription  shaD  be,  for — 

Honorary  Members £0  10     6 

Ordinary  Members      .         .         .         .         .050 

Apprentices 0     10 

A  Life  Member  shall  make  one  payment  of  .       7     7     0 

5.  The  management  of  the  affairs  of  the  Society  shall  be  en- 
trusted to  a  Council,  chosen  annually,  by  ballot,  in  the  month  of 


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Xll.  C0-8HUIDHEACHADH. 

Cheann,  tri  Iar-chinn,  Cleireach  Urramach,  Kunaire,  Ionmhasair, 
agus  coig  buill  eile — feumaidh  iad  uile  Gailig  a  thuigsinn  *s  a 
bhruidhinn ;  agus  ni  coigear  dhiubh  coinneamh. 

6.  Cumar  coinneamhan  a'  Chomuinn  gach  seachduin  o  thois 
each  an  Deicheamh  mios  gu  deireadh  Mhairt,  agus  gach  ceithir" 
la-deug  o  thoiseach  Ghiblein  gu  deireadh  an  Naothamh-mios.  'S 
i  a'  Ghailig  a  labhrar  gach  oidhche  mu'n  seach  aig  a*  chuid  a's 
lugha. 

7.  Cuiridh  a'  Cho-chomhairle  la  air  leth  arms  an  t-Seachdamh- 
mios  air-son  Coinneamh  Bhliadhnail  aig  an  cumar  Co-dheuchainn 
agus  air  an  toirear  duaisean  air-son  Piobaireachd  'us  ciuil  Ghaidh- 
ealach  eile ;  anns  an  fheasgar  bithidh  co-dheuchainn  air  Leughadh 
agus  aithris  Bardachd  agus  Kosg  nuadh  agus  taghta ;  an  deigh  sin 
cumar  Cuirm  chuideachdail  aig  am  faigh  nithe  Gaidhealach  rogh- 
ainn  'san  uirghioll,  ach  gun  roinn  a  dhiultadh  dhaibh-san  nach  tuig 
Gailig.  Giulainear  cosdas  na  co-dheuchainne  le  trusadh  sonraichte 
a  dheanamh  agus  cuideachadh  iarraidh  o  'n  t-sluagh. 

8.  Cha  deanar  atharrachadh  sam  bith  air  coimh-dhealbhadh 
a'  Chomuinn  gun  aontachadh  dha  thrian  de  naJm  bheil  de  luchd- 
bruidhinn  Gailig  air  a'  chlar-ainm.  Ma  's  miann  atharrachadh  a 
dheanamh  is  eiginn  sin  a  chur  an  ceill  do  gach  ball,  mios,  aig  a' 
chuid  aJs  lugha,  roimh7n  choinneamh  a  dh'fheudas  an  t-atharrachadh 
a  dheanamh  Feudaidh  ball  nach  bi  a  lathair  roghnachadh  le 
lamh-aithne. 

9.  Taghaidh  an  Comunn  Bard,  Piobaire,  agus  Fear-leabhar- 
lann. 


Ullaichear  gach  Paipear  agus  Leughadh,  agus  giulainear  gach 
Deasboireachd  le  run  fosgailte,  duineil,  durachdach  air-son  na 
firinn,  agus  cuirear  gach  ni  air  aghaidh  ann  an  spiorad  caomh,  glan, 
agus  a  reir  riaghailtean  dearbhta. 


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CONSTITUTION.  xill. 

January,  to  consist  of  a  Chief,  three  Chieftains,  an  Honorary 
Secretary,  a  Secretary,  a  Treasurer,  and  five  other  Members  of  the 
Society,  all  of  whom  shall  understand  and  speak  Gaelic ;  five  to 
form  a  quorum. 

6.  The  Society  shall  hold  its  meetings  weekly  from  the 
beginning  of  October  to  the  end  of  March,  and  fortnightly  from 
the  beginning  of  April  to  the  end  of  September.  The  business 
shall  be  carried  on  in  Gaelic  on  every  alternate  night  at  least. 

7.  There  shall  be  an  Annual  Meeting  in  the  month  of  July, 
the  day  to  be  named  by  the  Committee  for  the  time  being,  when 
Competitions  for  Prizes  shall  take  place  in  Pipe  and  other  High- 
land Music.  In  the  evening  there  shall  be  Competitions  in  Bead- 
ing and  Keciting  Gaelic  Poetry  and  Prose,  both  original  and  select. 
After  which  there  will  be  a  Social  Meeting,  at  which  Gaelic  sub- 
jects shall  have  the  preference,  but  not  to  such  an  extent  as 
entirely  to  preclude  participation  by  persons  who  do  not  under- 
stand Gaelic.  The  expenses  of  the  competitions  shall  be  defrayed 
out  of  a  special  fund,  to  which  the  general  public  shall  be  invited 
to  subscribe. 

8.  It  is  a  fundamental  rule  of  the  Society  that  no  part  of  the 
Constitution  shall  be  altered  without  the  assent  of  two- thirds  of 
the  GaeKc-speaking  Members  on  the  roll ;  but  if  any  alterations 
be  required,  due  notice  of  the  same  must  be  given  to  each  member, 
at  least  one  month  before  the  meeting  takes  place  at  which  the 
alteration  is  proposed  to  be  made.  Absent  Members  may  vote  by 
mandates. 

9.  The  Society  shall  elect  a  Bard,  a  Piper,  and  a  Librarian. 


All  Papers  and  Lectures  shall  be  prepared,  and  all  Discussions 
carried  on,  with  an  honest,  earnest,  and  manful  desire  for  truth ; 
and  all  proceedings  shall  be  conducted  in  a  pure  and  gentle  spirit, 
and  according  to  the  usually  recognised  rules. 


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GAELIC  SOCIETY  OF  INVERNESS. 


OFFICE-BEARERS  FOR  1896     OFFICE-BEARERS  FOR  1897 


CHIEF. 

J.  E,   B.  Baillie,  Esq.  of  Doch- 
four,  M,P. 

CHIEFTAINS. 

Mr  Jamea  Fraser,  C.E. 

iVfr  Alex,  Macbain,  M.A. 

Mr  John  L.  Robertson,  H.M.I.S. 

HON.    SECRETARY. 

Mr  William  Mackay,  Solicitor. 

SECRETARY  AND  TREASURER. 

Mi-   Duncan  Mackintosh,  Bank 
of  Scotland. 

MEMBERS    OF   COUNCIL. 

Mr  John  Macdonald. 
Mr  Duncan  Mactavish. 
Mr  William  Fraser. 
Mr  Alex.  Mackenzie. 
Mr  Wni+  Macdonald. 

LIBRARIAN. 

Mr  William  Fraser. 

PIPER. 

Pipe-Major  Ronald  Mackenzie. 

BARD. 

Mr  Neil  Macleod,  Edinburgh. 


CHIEF. 

Cluny    Macpherson    of    Cluny 
Macpherson. 

CHIEFTAINS. 

Mr  John  Macdonald. 
Mr  James  Fraser,  C.E. 
Rev.  Thomas  Sinton. 

HON.   SECRETARY. 

Mr  William  Mackay,  Solicitor. 

SECRETARY  AND  TREASURER. 

Mr  Duncan  Mackintosh,  Bank 
of  Scotland. 

ASSISTANT   SECRETARY. 

Mr  Alex.  Macdonald. 

MEMBERS   OF   COUNCIL. 

Mr  Alex.  Macbain,  M.A. 
Mr  Alex.  Mackenzie 
Mr  William  Macdonald. 
Mr  Thomas  A.  Mackay. 
Mr  William  Fraser. 

LIBRARIAN. 

Mr  William  Fraser. 

PIPER. 

Pipe-Major  Ronald  Mackenzie. 

BARD. 

Mr  Neil  Macleod,  Edinburgh 


J 


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CONTENTS. 


Introduction  .  -v. 

Constitution x. 

Office-bearers  for  1896-97 xiv. 

Twenty-fourth  Annual  Dinner  (1896)        ....  1 
Minor  Highland   Families   (No.    X.) — The   Cuthberts   of 

Castlehill,  styled  "  MacSheorais" — Dr  Charles  Fraser- 

Mackintosh       ........  10- 

Scraps  of  Unpublished  Poetry  and  Folklore  from   Glen- 

moriston — Mr  Alex.  Macdonald,  Inverness          .         .  22 

Strathspey  Raid  to  Elgin  in  1820— Ex-Bailie  W.  G.  Stuart  37 

The  Mission  of  the  Celt — Mr  L.  Macbean,  Kirkcaldy          .  56 
Sketches  of  the  Early  History,  Legends,  and  Traditions  of 

Strathardle  (No.  V.) — Mr  Charles  Fergusson      .         .  69 

Second  Sight  in  the  Highlands — Miss  Goodrich  Freer        .  106 

Annual  Assembly  (1896) 115 

Selections  from  the   Family   Papers   of  the  Mackays  of 

Bighouse  (No.  I.) — Capt.  Wimberley,  Inverness          .  120 
Beagan  Dhuilleag  bho  Sheann  Bhardachd  Eilean  a*  Che6 — 

Mr  Neil  Macleod,  Edinburgh 171 

Twenty-fifth  Annual  Dinner  (1897) 187 

Mr  Skene  v.  Dr  Skene — Mr  A.  Macbain,  M.A.,  Inverness  .  191 
Some  Unpublished  Gaelic  Ballads  from  the  Maclagan  MSS. 

(No.  I.) — Rev.  J.  Kennedy,  Arran      .         .         .         .214 
The   Gaelic   Dialect  of  Arran — Rev.    C.    M.    Robertson, 

Inverness 229 

Fauns  and  Fairies — Rev.  James  Macdonald,  Reay      .         .  265 


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XVI.  CONTBNTS. 

PAGE. 

Minor  Highland  Families  (No.  XL) — The  Robertsons  of 

Inshes — Dr  Charles  Fraser-Mackintosh       .         .         .       289 

Further  Gaelic  Words  and  Etymologies — Mr  A.  Macbain, 

M.A.,  Inverness 306 

Early  History,    Legends,   and   Traditions   of   Strathardle 

(No.  VI.)— Mr  Charles  Fergusson      ....       326 

Seana  Bheachdan  agus  Seana  Chleachdaidhean  (No.  I.) — 

Rev.  J.  Macrury,  Snizort 369 

Early  Sources  of  Scottish  Gaelic — Mr  J.    L.    Robertson, 

Inverness 379 

Gleanings  from  the  Cluny   Charter   Chest   (No.    III.) — 

Provost  Macpherson,  Kingussie      ....       391 

Members  of  the  Society — 

Honorary  Chieftains 455 

Life  Members 455 

Honorary  Members  .  456 

Ordinary  Members   .......       457 

Deceased  Members 465 

■Society's  Library — List  of  Books 467 


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TRANSACTIONS. 


28th  JANUARY,  1896. 

TWENTY-FOURTH  annual  dinner. 

The  Twenty-fourth  Annual  Dinner  of  the  Society  took  place  in 
the  Station  Hotel  this  evening.     The  chair  was  occupied  by  J.  E. 
B.  Baillie,  Esq.  of  Dochfour,  M.P.,  Chief  of  the  Society  for  1896, 
who  was  supported  by  Major  Jackson  of  Swordale ;  Capt.  Malcolm, 
Queen's  Own  Cameron  Highlanders  ;  ex-Provost  Ross,  LL.D.;  Rev. 
Dr   Norman    Macleod  ;     Provost    Macpherson,    Kingussie;     Mr 
Duncan  Shaw,  W.S.;  Mr  Alexander  Mackenzie,  publisher;   and 
Mr  Duncan  Mackintosh,  Secretary  of  the  Society.     The  croupiers 
were  Mr  John  L.  Robertson,  H.M.  Inspector  of  Schools,  and  Mr 
William  Mackay,  solicitor,  Honorary  Secretary  of  the   Society. 
Among  those  present  were — Mr  H.  V.  Maccallum,  solicitor ;  Dr 
Munro  Moir,  Inverness ;    Rev.   John  Kennedy,  Caticol,   Arran ; 
Mr  Alexander  Macbain,  rector,  Raining's  School ;  Mr  Jchn  Mac- 
leod, M.P.;  Mr  Guild,  Thornbush  Brewery ;  Mr  James  A.  Gossip, 
The  Nurseries ;  Mr  Steele,  agent,  Bank  of  Scotland  ;  Mr  Donald 
Fraser   of  Millburn ;    Rev.    Mr    Morrison,    Kintail ;   Mr  James 
Barron,  Ness  Bank;  Mr  Alexander  Mactavish,  ironmonger;   Mr 
Charles  Macdonald,  Knocknagael;    Mr  David  Munro,  solicitor; 
Mr  iEneas  Fraser,  writer ;  Mr  Mac  waiter,  of  Messrs  Marr  <fe  Co., 
music-sellers;  Mr  Mackay,  contractor;  Mr  H.  Rose  Mackenzie, 
solicitor ;  Mr  A.  M.  Ross,  Dingwall ;  Mr  John  S.  Fraser,  solicitor ; 
Mr  Fraser,  farmer,  Balloch  ;  Dr  F.  M.  Mackenzie  ;  Mr  John  Mac- 
kenzie, merchant,  Greig  Street ;  Mr  John  Cameron,  bookseller ; 
Mr  Freeman,   Union  Street;  Mr  Arthur  Medlock,  jeweller;  Mr 
William  Fraser,  Greig  Street;  Mr  Alexander  Macdonald,  High- 
land Railway ;  Mr  Keeble,  Church  Street ;  Mr  M'Hardy,   Chief- 
Constable  ;  Mr  Duncan  Mactavish,  grain  merchant ;  Mr  Wark, 

1 


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2  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

Lancashire  Insurance  Company ;  Mr  Ross,  solicitor ;  Mr  Mac- 
pherson,  merchant,  Inglis  Street ;  Mr  Samuel  Davidson,  Union 
Street,  and  others. 

After  an  excellent  dinner  had  been  done  ample  justice  to, 
during  which  the  Society's  Piper,  Pipe-Major  Ronald  Mackenzie, 
Gordon  Castle,  played  stirring  and  well-selected  music, 

The  Chairman,  who  was  received  with  applause,  gave  the 
loyal  and  patriotic  toasts,  in  course  of  which  he  sympathetically 
referred  to  the  great  loss  the  Royal  Family  had  recently  sustained 
by  the  death  of  Prince  Henry  of  Battenberg.  He  was  sure  he  was 
only  expressing  the  feelings  of  every  one  present  when  he  said 
they  deeply  sympathised  with  the  Queen  and  widowed  Princess. 

Captain  Malcolm  replied  for  the  Army  and  Navy,  and  Major 
Duncan  Shaw  replied  for  the  Volunteers. 

The  Secretary  then  read  a  long  list  of  apologies  for  absence 
from  members  of  the  Society,  and  submitted  the  annual  report  of 
the  Executive,  Avhich  was  as  follows  : — The  Council  have  pleasure 
in  reporting  that  the  Society  have  had  another  useful  year. 
During  the  year  fifteen  papers  were  read  at  the  Society's  meetings, 
and  the  nineteenth  volume  of  the  Society's  "  Transactions "  was 
issued  and  delivered  to  the  members.  Volume  twenty  is  in  the 
press,  and  will,  it  is  expected,  be  issued  before  the  date  of  the 
annual  assembly  in  July.  The  syllabus  for  the  current  session  is 
in  the  hands  of  the  members  present.  The  Treasurer's  report  is 
as  folio ws : — Balance  from  last  year,  £55  2s  Id ;  income  during 
year,  £116  Is  5d ;  total,  £171  3s  6d;  expenditure  during  year, 
£146  Is  9d— Balance  in  Bank  of  Scotland,  £25  Is  9d.  During 
the  year  the  Society  was  joined  by  1  life  member,  4  honorary 
members,  and  39  ordinary  members.  On  the  other  hand,  the 
Council  greatly  regret  the  death  of  several  members,  including 
Field-Marshal  Sir  Patrick  Grant,  Chief  of  the  Society  for  past  year; 
Mr  Colin  Chisholm,  one  of  the  honorary  chieftains  of  the  Society ; 
and  ex-Bailie  Alexander  Mackenzie,  Silverwells,  who  was  for 
several  years  one  of  the  chieftains  of  the  Society. 

The  Chairman,  on  rising  to  propose  the  toast  of  the  evening — 
"  Success  to  the  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness  " — was  received  with 
great  enthusiasm.  He  said — My  position  upon  this  occasion  is 
to  a  certain  extent  an  awkward  one,  as  I  am  deficient  in  the  very 
point  which  is  the  object  of  the  existence  of  this  Association.  I 
think  this  deficiency  may,  however,  be  forgiven  me,  when  you 
consider  that  all  my  boyhood  days  \*ere,  spent  in  foreign  countries, 
where  my  father  had  to  live  owing  to  his  being  in  the  diplomatic 
service.     But  I  have  always  deeply  regretted  this  want  of  know- 


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Annual  Dinner.  3 

ledge,  which  would  have  enabled  a  closer  and  more  intimate 
relation  between  myself  and  the  people  with  whom  1  am  most 
closely  connected.  I  never  regretted  it  more  than  I  do  now,  as  it 
prevents  me  speaking  intelligently  to  such  a  large  number  of 
those  whom  I  have  the  honour  to  represent  in  the  House  of 
Commons.  I  can,  however,  value  and  respect  Gaelic  without 
knowing  it.  It  is  impossible  to  allow  the  language  of  a 
nation  to  die  without  losing  with  it  many  of  the  mental  and 
intellectual  characteristics  of  the  people.  It  is  not  only  a  matter 
of  historical  interest  to  preserve  the  peculiarities  of  this  national 
temperament ;  it  is,  I  believe,  a  matter  of  great  importance  in  the 
.history  of  a  nation  that  the  characteristics  and  every  one  of  the 
elements  of  which  the  national  life  is  composed  should  be 
preserved.  The  Highlanders  have  lessons  to  teach  to  Great 
Britain,  and  lessons  to  teach  to  the  age  in  which  we  live.  The 
Scotchman  of  the  Lowlands  brings  into  the  national  life  thrift 
carefulness,  and  determination  of  purpose,  and  a  singleness  of  aim 
in  life  which  brings  him  to  the  front  as  a  man  of  business ;  the 
Englishman  has  these  noble  qualities — a  sense  of  justice  and 
honesty  and  respect  for  law,  which  makes  him  the  best  ruler  in 
the  world ;  but  both  of  these  have  a  tendency  to  the  material 
and  matter  of  fact  side  of  life ;  it  remains  for  the  Highlander  to 
introduce  the  romantic  element,  which  finds  so  large  an  expression 
in  his  literature.  Again,  it  is  a  common  complaint  that  family 
ties  and  public  loyalty  are  weakening  every  day.  Surely  the 
people  whose  love  of  name,  race,  country,  and  home  is  so 
proverbial,  may  have  a  place  as  teachers  in  such  an  age.  I  only 
wish  I  could  prove  the  value  I  put  upon  this  matter  by  learning 
Gaelic  myself,  but  I  fear  it  is  too  late  to  do  so  now.  In  con- 
clusion, let  me  only  say  how  glad  I  am  to  have  this  public 
opportunity  of  expressing  the  sympathy  I  feel  for  the  objects  of 
this  Association,  and  to  assure  you  that  I  shall  always  warmly 
second  any  efforts  you  may  be  making  to  carry  on  this  work, 
which  I  consider  as  of  such  great  importance. 

Provost  Macpherson,  Kingussie,  in  giving  the  toast  of  The 
Language  and  Literature  of  the  Gael,  said — The  subject  of  this 
toast  has  been  so  often  and  so  ably  thrashed  out  at  successive 
gatherings  of  this  Society,  for  many  years,  that  one  feels  quite  at 
a  loss  to  say  anything  fresh  on  the  point.  I  desire,  therefore, 
simply  to  confine  myself  to  a  few  words  as  to  the  language,  and  to 
a  brief  reference  to  the  labours  of  those  who,  during  the  last  half 
century — without  going  further  back — have  done  so  much  in  the 
way  of  rescuing  and  preserving  the  literature  of  the  Gael.     And 


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4  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

first  as  to  the  language,  so  appropriately  termed  "  A'  chainnt  bhinin 
bhlasda  a  bha  aim  o  chein."  While  the  English  tongue  is  now  as 
indispensable  as  English  coin  in  the  business  of  e  very-day  life,  we 
find  in  the  Gaelic  language,  in  the  more  sacred  home-life  of  a 
Highland  community,  treasures — as  has  well  been  said — of 
devotion  and  affection,  a  balm  for  bruised  hearts,  a  music  of  old 
times,  reminiscences  of  genuine  Highland  hospitality,  a  vehicle  of 
fire-side  talk,  and  patriotic  inspiration,  and  of  young  love  whisper- 
ing in  the  twilight  of  a  summer  evening  in  our  native  glens,  such 
as  no  Highland  heart  will  ever  find  in  equal  luxuriance  in  the 
chilly  English  speech.  Let  me  recall  in  this  connection  a  few  of 
the  many  wise  and  patriotic  sentiments  to  which  Professor  Blackie 
— that  warm-hearted  friend  and  admirer  of  the  Gael,  whose  recent 
death  awakened  feelings  of  the  deepest  sorrow  among  Highlanders 
all  over  the  world — so  frequently  gave  expression.  "  I  respect  and 
reverence  the  Gaelic  language,"  he  said  on  one  occasion,  "  and  learn 
from  her  lips  more  tenderness,  and,  perhaps,  more  wisdom,  than 
from  the  most  recent  school  book,  bound  with  red  tape,  and 
patronised  by  Her  Majesty's  inspectors.  If  the  language,"  he 
continued,  "  is  to  die  speedily  the  fault  will  mainly  be  with  the 
Highland  people  themselves.  ...  No  doubt  the  Celt  is  a 
British  citizen,  and  ought  to  be  taught  English.  That  should  be 
placed  in  the  foreground,  but  unless  circumstances  are  very  un- 
favourable— unless  he  is  ill-treated  by  others,  or  ill-treats  him  self  t 
and  looks  only  to  what  affects  his  pocket,  rather  than  to  what 
makes  his  bosom  swell  with  noble  emotion  and  sentiment — he 
ought  not  to  neglect  his  mother  tongue ;  and  he  is  a  monster  if 
he  does  not  love  it.  He  may  have  the  misfortune  to  have  a  father 
who  told  him  to  avoid  the  mother  tongue,  and  who  sent  him  to 
Eton  or  Harrow  to  learn  to  read  Horace  and  to  be  licked  into  an 
Englishman,  and  who  did  not  know  that  the  best  thing  for  a 
Highland  laird  was  to  be  familiar  with  the  language  of  his  own 
people,  and  the  history  and  traditions  of  the  ancestral  glens." 
"  No  people,"  said  Trelawny,  the  friend  of  Byron  and  Shelly,  "  if 
they  retain  their  name  and  language  need  despair,"  and  that 
pledge  of  liberty  and  guarantee  of  nationality,  let  us  hope  that,  in 
some  measure  at  least,  we  still  possess.  And  now  a  few  words  as 
to  the  literature  of  the  Gael.  The  question  has  not  un frequently 
been  asked  by  would-be  cynics  whether  such  a  thing  as  Celtic 
literature  exists  at  all,  but  to  enlarge  upon  such  a  question  at  a 
gathering  of  this  Society  would  surely  be  altogether  a  work  of 
supererogation.  "The  moment,"  says  Dr  Douglas  Hyde,  in  an 
interesting  little  volume  recently  published — entitled  "  The  Story 


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Annual  Dinner.  5 

of  Early  Gaelic  Literature" — "The  moment  that  the  English 
reader  embarks  on  the  sea  of  native  Irish  literature  (and  this 
applies  with  equal  force  to  the  literature  of  the  Highlands)  he 
finds  himself  in  absolutely  unknown  waters.  It  is  not  merely  that 
the  style,  the  phraseology,  the  turns  of  speech,  the  entire  metrical 
system  are  as  unlike  English  as  though  the  whole  of  Europe  lay 
between  the  two  countries,  but  its  allusions  are  to  things,  and 
times,  and  events,  and  cycles,  and  dynasties  strange  and  unknown 
to  him,  and  he  thus  finds  himself  suddenly  launched  into  a  new 
world,  whose  existence  was,  by  him,  perfectly  unsuspected.  He  is 
beset  on  every  side  by  allusions  which  he  cannot  nnderstand, 
similes  he  cannot  grasp,  and  by  ideas  which  are  strange  to  him." 
Confining  myself  to  the  period  I  have  mentioned,  and  to  this  side 
of  the  Border,  the  labours  of  such  well-known  Celtic  scholars  as 
Dr  Skene,  Mr  J.  F.  Campbell,  Dr  Maclauchlan  of  Edinburgh,  Dr 
Clark  of  Kilmallie,  Dr  Cameron  of  Brodick,  Dr  Hately  Waddell, 
Mrs  Mary  Mackellar,  Professor  Blackie,  Sheriff  Nicolson,  Rev. 
Mr  Campbell  of  Tiree,  Rev.  Mr  Macgregor  of  Inverness,  Mr 
Hector  Maclean  of  Islay,  and  others,  who  have  all  now  gone 
over  to  the  majority,  are,  I  have  no  doubt,  familiar  to  most 
of  you.  Let  me  specially  refer  to  the  Teachdaire  and 
Cuairtear  of  that  Highlander  of  Highlanders,  the  elder  Dr 
Norman  Macleod,  of  St  Columba's,  Glasgow — a  man,  it  has 
been  justly  said,  "  worthy  to  be  remembered  with  affec- 
tionate veneration  by  all  lovers  of  the  Scottish  Highlands, 
their  people,  and  their  language ;  whose  perfect  knowledge  of 
Gaelic  proverbs,  and  happy  use  of  them,  gave  a  special  charm  to 
his  Highland  dialogues,  which,  in  wisdom,  humour,  tenderness,  in 
height  of  aim,  pureness  of  spirit,  and  simple  beauty  of  style,  have 
not  been  surpassed  in  the  literature  of  any  country."  Need  I 
allude  to  these  admirable,  but  now,  alas  !  defunct,  periodicals, 
The  Gael,  The  Celtic  Magazine,  and  The  Highland  Monthly,  and 
to  our  northern  newspapers,  which  have  all  done  such  excellent 
service  in  the  way  of  promoting  the  cultivation  of  the  language, 
poetry,  and  music  of  the  Highlands  ?  The  three  magazines  which 
I  have  mentioned  have  unfortunately  ceased  to  exist,  but  let  me 
specially  commend  their  successor,  so  to  speak,  that  bright  and 
attractive  little  periodical,  The  Celtic  Monthly,  at  present  so 
admirably  conducted  by  Mr  John  Mackay,  of  Glasgow,  which,  I 
believe,  is  steadily  increasing  in  circulation  among  Highlanders 
both  at  home  and  abroad.  Among  the  many  admirable  papers 
given  in  The  Celtic  Magazine,  I  may  be  pardoned  for  specially 
alluding  to  the  delightful  "  Snatches  of  Highland  Song,"  collected 


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6  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

in  Badenoch  by  our  worthy  friend,  Mr  Sinton,  the  minister  of 
Dores,  which  have  greatly  interested  natives  of  Badenoch,  and 
which  I  hope  may  soon  be  published  in  book  form.  I  would 
desire  also  to  refer  to  the  racy  papers  appearing  in  the  Inverness 
Courier  from  time  to  time,  from  the  pen  of  that  genial  and 
accomplished  clergyman,  "  Nether  Lochaber,"  which  many  of  us, 
I  am  sure,  do  not  peruse  with  less  interest,  from  his  decided 
Jacobite  leanings.  Of  special  interest  to  Highlanders  have  also 
been  many  of  the  papers  in  the  Northern  Chronicle,  from  the  pen 
of  Mr  Campbell,  the  able  and  accomplished  editor  of  that  news- 
paper. Coming  nearer  home,  let  me  refer  to  the  labours  of  Mr 
Alexander  Mackenzie,  of  the  Scottish  Highlander,  the  well-known 
author  of  so  many  clan  histories,  to  whom  such  a  splendid  and 
well-deserved  tribute  of  admiration  was  made  this  afternoon  by 
such  a  large  number  of  subscribers,  representing  all  shades  of 
political  opinion.  Let  me  also  mention  the  name  of  Mr  Alexander 
Macbain,  who  has  been  appropriately  termed  "  one  of  the  best- 
living  Celtic  scholars."  If  you  will  pardon  a  personal  remark,  not 
a  few  members  of  this  Society,  while  admiring  the  attainments  of 
our  friend,  Mr  Macbain, *as  a  Celtic  philologist,  do  not  by  any  means 
endorse  all  his  historical  opinions,  and  I  may  perhaps  be  allowed 
to  express  the  hope  that,  as  regards  some  at  least  of  these 
opinions,  he  may  come  to  see  "  the  error  of  his  way."  In  the 
meantime,  as  loyal  members  of  the  Gaelic  Society,  we  must  of 
course  "  agree  to  differ."  But  this  by  the  way.  Within  the  last 
four  or  five  years  no  little  literary  activity  has  prevailed  in  the 
way  of  publication  of  very  meritorious  works  connected  with  the 
Highlands.  During  that  short  period  we  have  had  the  poems  and 
songs  of  Mary  Macpherson,  the  Skye  poetess ;  a  collection  of 
original  Gaelic  songs  and  poems  by  Allister  Macdonald,  Inverness ; 
and  fuller  editions  of  the  works  of  some  of  our  earlier  poets  have 
been  issued  by  Neil  Macleod,  the  bard  of  the  Society.  We  have 
also  had  the  literary  remains  of  that  accomplished  Gaelic  scholar 
and  native  of  Badenoch,  Dr  Cameron,  of  Brodick,  in  two  portly 
volumes,  ably  edited  by  Mr  Macbain  and  Rev.  John  Kennedy. 
Another  remarkable  volume — justly  characterised  as  "  a  model 
parish  history" — is  "  Urquhart  and  Glenmoriston,"  by  our  highly 
esteemed  friend,  Mr  William  Mackay,  one  of  the  original  members 
of  the  Society,  and  one  of  the  most  frequent  and  valued  contributors 
to  its  Transactions.  Within  the  same  period,  Mr  Mackenzie  has 
issued  a  new  and  improved  edition  of  his  "History  of  the 
Mackenzies,"  which  has  been  received  with  a  chorus  of  approval, 
alike  from  the  clan  and  from  the  general  public.     We  have  also 

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Annual  Dinner.  7 

had  "  Eachdraidh  Beatha  Chriosd"  from  that  master  of  racy  and 
idiomatic  Gaelic,  Rev.  Mr  Macruiy  of  Snizort ;  "The  Last  Mac - 
donalds  of  Isla,"  already  out  of  print,  from  Mr  Fraser-Mackintosh ; 
"  Personal  Names  and  Surnames  of  the  Town  of  Inverness,"  from 
Mr  M*cbain ;  "  Memorable  Highland  Floods  of  the  Nineteenth 
Century,"  from  Mr  Nairne,  the  talented  sub-editor  of  the  Chronicle ; 
and  "  Gaelic  Incantations  and  Charms,"  from  Mr  William  Mac- 
kenzie, the  secretary  of  the  Crofters  Commission,  for  some  time 
the  energetic  secretary  of  this  Society.  In  course  of  the  present 
ye?.r  we  have  also  the  promise  of  several  very  important  works 
connected  with  the  Highlands.  Among  these  are  Mr  Macbain's 
"Etymological  Dictionary  of  the  Gaelic  Language";  "The  History 
of  the  Erasers,"  by  the  indefatigable  clan  historian,  Mr  Mackenzie; 
"  The  Records  of  the  Presbyteries  of  Inverness  and  Dingwall,"  to 
be  edited  by  Mr  Win,  Mackay  for  the  "  Scottish  History  Society;" 
"The  Clan  Donald,"  by  Rev.  Archibald  Macdonald,  Kiltarlity, 
and  Rev.  A.  J.  Macdonald,  Killearnan ;  and  "  Sutherland  and  the 
Reay  Couutry,"  by  Rev.  Adam  Gunn,  of  Durness,  and  Mr  John 
Mackay,  the  editor  of  the  Celtic  Monthly,  The  toast  was  coupled 
with  the  name  of  Rev.  John  Kennedy  of  Caticol,  Arran,  whom  Mr 
Macpherson  characterised  as  one  of  the  best  Gaelic  scholars  of  our 
time,  and  who  had  been  associated  with  Mr  Macbain  in  the 
publication  of  Dr  Cameron  of  Brodick's  Eeliquioe  Celticce* 

Rev.  Mr  Kennedy,  Arran,  said  he  had  to  thank  Provost  Mac- 
pherson for  the  extremely  kind  way  in  which  he  had  referred  to 
himself.  This  was  the  first  time  he  had  been  in  the  capital  of  the 
Highlands,  and  he  enjoyed  immensely  the  pleasure  and  privilege 
of  being  present  that  night.  To  begin  with,  he  had  to  congratulate 
the  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness  on  the  motto  which  headed  the 
programme  this  evening — 

"  A'  chuirm  sgaoilte ;  chualas  an  ceol, 
Ard  sholas  an  talla  nan  Triath." 

The  feast  spread  ;  the  music  was  heard, 
High  holiday  in  the  hall  of  the  heroes. 

All  present  to  that  extent  were  heroes,  and  as  Mr  Macpherson 
had  so  splendidly  given  them  an  account  of  all  that  had  been 
done  during  the  past  50  years,  he  wrould  only  acknowledge 
in  one  word  their  indebtedness  to  him  for  criticising  the 
work  accomplished.  Their  chairman  that  evening,  seeing  he  was 
so  young,  need  not  give  up  the  idea  of  acquiring  the  Gaelic 
language.     Mr  Macpherson  of  Belleville  acquired  in  two  months  a 


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8  Gaelic  Society  of  inuerness. 

fair  knowledge  of  the  language,  and  in  two  years  he  was  able  to 
speak  to  his  tenantry.  He  was  a  credit  to  all  landlords.  It  was 
sometimes  said  that  something  might  be  done  for  the  Highlands, 
in  Gaelic  or  in  English,  in  the  line  of  what  had  been  done  for  the 
Lowlands  by  Barrie,  Crockett,  and  Ian  Maclaren.  Crockett  him- 
self said  his  book  was  often  asked  for  thus — "Have  you  the 
Crockett  Minister  by  Stickit."  They  had  Miss  Fionna  Macleod 
now  doing  the  very  best  in  that  direction  for  the  Highlands — the 
pioneer  in  a  sphere  where  a  great  amount  of  work  might  yet  be 
done. 

Mr  William  Mackay,  solicitor,  gave  the  toast  of  the  Clergy. 
He  said  the  Highland  clergy  were  the  best  working  members  of 
the  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness.  Indeed,  if  they  removed  the 
work  of  the  clergy  from  the  Celtic  field  there  would  be  very  little 
left.  He  coupled  the  toast  with  the  name  of  Dr  Norman  Macleod, 
who  was  the  representative  of  a  family  who  had  done  more  for 
Celtic  literature  than  any  other  in  the  country. 

Dr  Norman  Macleod,  in  replying,  congratulated  Mr  Macbain 
upon  the  completion  nf  his  Gaelic  Dictionary.  He  had  the  pleasure 
of  meeting  Dr  Whitley  Stokes,  and  when  he  found  he  was  a  Scots- 
man, and  before  he  knew  he  was  a  Highlander,  he  remarked, 
"  Do  you  know  Macbain,  of  Inverness  ?"  He  assured  them  every 
member  of  the  Gaelic  Society  would  have  been  proud  and  gratified 
if  they  heard  the  way  in  which  that  eminent  man  spoke  of  Mr 
Macbain  as  a  Celtic  scholar.  He  did  not  know  if  the  Highland 
clergy  of  the  present  day  could  be  compared  in  literary  power  with 
those  who  wTent  before,  but  he  ventured  to  hope  that  they  were 
not  less  assiduous  in  the  discharge  of  their  sacred  duties.  He 
could  only  hope  that  the  clergy  in  their  ecclesiastical  associations 
should  remember  the  Highland  war-cry,  "  Clann  nan  Gaidheal  an 
guaillibh  a  ch&le."  Although  they  represented  different  denomi- 
nations, they  all  belonged  to  the  same  grand  army,  were  fighting 
with  the  same  weapons  against  the  same  foes,  and  looking,  he 
trusted,  to  the  same  victory. 

A  number  of  other  toasts  followed,  and,  at  the  close, 

Mr  Steele  proposed,  in  appropriate  terms,  the  health  of  the 
Chief.  The  toast  was  enthusiastically  pledged  with  Highland 
honours  and  the  playing  on  the  bagpipes  of  "  A  man's  a  man  for 
a'  that." 

The  Chairman,  in  reply,  thanked  the  company  for  the  cordial 
way  in  which  they  had  pledged  his  health.  He  also  thanked 
them  for  the  honour  they  had  done  him  in  electing  him  as  Chief 
of  this  Society.      He  could  not  help  feeling  that  the  members 


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Annual  Dinner  9 

might  have  chosen  some  one  better  fitted  to  fill  the  position.  He 
felt  that  the  Chief  of  this  Society  ought  to  be  the  head  of  some 
ancient  warlike  clan,  or  some  one  well  versed  in  the  Gaelic 
language  and  literature.  But  if  a  true  love  of  the  Highlands  and 
Highlanders  and  an  earnest  desire  to  further  and  cultivate  the 
promotion  of  the  real  interests  of  his  fellow-countrymen  were  a 
sufficient  qualification,  then,  in  this  respect  at  least,  he  could 
accept  the  compliment  with  an  easy  conscience.  He  thought  it 
was  the  late  Sheriff  Nicolson  who  once  remarked  that  the  man 
who  did  not  love  his  native  place  should  have  been  born  some- 
where else.  He  believed  the  Sheriff  might  have  added  that  a 
Chief  of  the  Gaelic  Society  who  did  not  love  the  Highlands  should 
not  have  been  born  at  all.  Mr  Steele  had  kindly  coupled  his 
name  with  the  toast  as  the  representative  of  Inverness-shire — the 
greatest  of  Scottish  counties.  Such  a  position  brought  with  it 
many  responsibilities.  He  again  thanked  them  for  their  kindness, 
and  he  trusted  they  might  be  long  spared  to  work  together  for 
the  well-being  of  their  fellow-countrymen  and  the  support  of  that 
Empire  in  which  they  gloried. 

The  proceedings,  which  -vere  enlivened  by  occasional  selections 
on  the  bagpipes  by  Pipe-Major  Ronald  Mackenzie,  songs  from  Mr 
^Eneas  Fraser  and  Mr  R.  Macleod,  and  the  singing  of  "Auld 
Lang  Syne,"  in  which  all  heartily  joined,  brought  a  most  successful 
meeting  to  a  close. 


6th  FEBRUARY,  1893. 

At  the  meeting  this  evening,  Mr  Thos.  M.  Batchen,  C.E.,  Mr 
Murdo  Macdonald,  C.E.,  both  of  Highland  Railway,  Inverness,  and 
Mr  James  A.  Gossip,  Knowsley,  Inverness,  were  elected  ordinary 
members  of  the  Society. 

The  Secretary  announced  the  following  donations  to  the 
Society's  Library :— "  British  Inscriptions,"  by  E.  B.  Nicolson, 
Bodleian  Library,  Oxford,  from  the  author,  and  "The  Deponent 
Verb  in  Irish,"  by  Professor  Strachan,  from  the  author. 

Thereafter,  the  Secretary  read  a  paper  contributed  by  Charles 
Fiaser-Mackintosh,  Esq.  of  Drummond,  entitled  "  The  Cuthberts 
of  Castlehill."     The  paper  was  as  follows : — 


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10  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 


MINOR  HIGHLAND  FAMILIES. 

No.  IX.— THE  CUTHBERTS  OF  CASTLEHILL,  STYLED 
"MAC  SHEORAIS." 

The  recent  valuable  analysis  of  the  names  of  the  population  of 
Inverness,  compiled  by  Rector  Macbain,  shows  that  the  predominant 
surname  in  the  town  at  present  is  that  of  Fraser.  That  of  Mac- 
kintosh was  predominant  in  last  century,  and  before  then  was  the 
once  leading  name  of  Cuthbert,  now  disappeared,  like  those  of  Wans 
and  Barbour. 

The  name  Cuthbert  is  a  very  ancient  Saxon  «>ne.  St  Cuthbert 
was  popular  both  in  England  and  Scotland,  and  many  churches 
were  dedicated  to  him. 

It  is  generally  admitted  that  the  original  Castle  of  Inverness 
•stood  on  the  Crown  lands,  and  that  after  its  destruction,  and  the 
reconstruction  of  the  new  one  on  the  height  overhanging  the  river, 
the  words  "  Auld  Castlehill  "  came  into  use.  It  may  also  be  fairly 
assumed  that  the  upper  part  of  Castle  Street,  formerly  "  Domes - 
dale,"  was  cut  out  from  the  Barnhills,  or  deepened  as  it  now  is,  for 
the  greater  security  of  the  new  Castle. 

It  will  be  kept  in  view  that  the  Castles  of  Inverness  were 
essentially  fortifications,  and  that  while  the  new  one  was  well 
defended  by  the  river  at  its  foot  on  the  west  side,  it  was  at  the 
same  time  essential  that  it  should  so  far  as  practicable  stand 
isolated  from  the  adjoining  heights  on  the  east  or  Barn  hill  side. 

Anyone  who  examines  the  sites  of  the  old  and  new  Castle  hills 
will  see  at  once  how  much  stronger,  both  for  attack  and  defence, 
the  new  position  was. 

The  extent  of  Auld  Castlehill  may  be  fairly  arrived  at,  as  it  is 
known  that  while  part  extended  to  the  sea,  the  valley  of  the 
Millburn,  perhaps  the  stream  itself,  would  have  formed  the 
boundary  to  the  North-East,  as  it  is  unquestionable  that  the  lands 
of  Knockjntinnel,  on  which  the  Barracks  are  now  built,  bounded 
Auld  Castlehill  on  that  side. 

These  lands  of  Knockintinnel,  as  also  the  barony  of  Culcabock 
immediately  adjoining  to  the  South-West,  with  Auld  Castlehill, 
comprehended  the  only  lands  independent  of  Inverness  burgh 
until  you  come  to  Culloden  proper,  all  the  remainder,  including 
Broomhill,  Stoneyfield,  and  Culloden's  Carnlaw,  being  included 
within  the  territory  of  the  burgh  of  Inverness.     The  property  of 


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Minor  Highland  Families.  U 

Castlehill  with  which  the  Cuthberts  were  so  long  associated  is 
mentioned  at  a  very  early  date,  but  the  surnames  of  the  early 
proprietors,  if  any,  have  not  been  handed  down. 

The  authentic  antiquity  of  the  family  of  Cuthbert  is  sufficient 
to  stand  on  its  own  foundation,  without  giving  credence  to  the 
imaginary  genealogy  of  the  well-known  Bore  Brief  of  1686. 

Among  some  of  the  oldest  Inverness  charters  existing  there  are 
charters  to  and  by  the  old  proprietors  of  Castlehill,  such  as  by 
Edoua  of  the  "Auld  Castle,"  one  of  the  daughters  and  heiresses 
of  the  late  Thomas,  4th  March,  1351  ;  Sir  Robt.  de  Chisholm, 
superior,  14th  September,  1362  ;  and  Donald  of  the  "Auld  Castle," 
14th  April,  1447 — all  except  Chisholm's  without  surnames. 

The  lands  were  then  held  in  feu,  Sir  Robert  de  Chisholm  being 
superior,  as  already  mentioned,  in  1362,  as  was  Thomas  de  Weike 
in  1458-1477. 

The  Cuthberts  were  free  barons,  although  by  the  Valuation 
Roll  of  1691  the  valuation  of  George  Cuthbert  only  amounted  to 
£224  Scots,  whereof  £168  lay  in  Inverness  and  £56  in  Croy 
parishes. 

In  1644  Janet  Mackenzie,  Lady  Castlehill,  is  rated  at  £266 
13s  4d  Scots.  Hence  it  follows  that  Auld  Castlehill,  not  extending 
to  £400  Scots  of  valuation,  must  to  constitute  a  freehold  have 
been  a  forty  shilling  land  of  old  extent. 

A  Thomas  Cuthbert  does  appear  as  one  of  the  witnesses  to  a 
charter  of  1458,  but  the  first  Cuthbert  of  whom  authentic  record 
exists  connected  with  Castlehill,  and  with  whom  I  commence,  was 

I.  William  Cuthbert,  who  is  said  to  have  been  a  son  of  John 
and  a  grandson  of  George  Cuthbert,  who  fought  in  1411  at  Harlaw, 
at  the  head  of  the  contingent  sent  by  the  burgh  of  Inverness 
against  Donald  of  the  Isles,  whose  predecessors'  visits  to  the  town, 
being  generally  followed  by  sack  and  destruction,  were  not 
welcomed  or  appreciated. 

From  the  charter  of  1478  it  appeal's  that  the  lands  of  Auld 
Castlehill,  "  lying  within  the  Earldom  of  Moray  and  the  Sheriffdom 
of  Inverness,"  were  personally  resigned  into  the  King's  hands  by 
Sir  James  Weike,  chaplain,  and  of  new  granted  by  James  III.  to 
William  Cuthbert,  burgess  of  Inverness,  at  Edinburgh,  23rd  July, 
1498,  these  being  witnesses — John,  Bishop  of  Glasgow ;  William, 
Bishop  of  Moray,  Keeper  of  the  Privy  Seal ;  Thomas,  Bishop  of 
Aberdeen  ;  Andrew,  Lord  Avondale,  Chancellor ;  Colin,  Earl  of 
Argyll,  Master  of  the  Royal  Household  ;  David,  Earl  of  Crawford, 
Lord  Lindsay  ;  James,  Lord  Hamilton  ;  Mr  John  de  Colquhoun  of 
that  Ilk,  Knight;  Mr  Archibald  Whitelaw,  Archdean  of  Lothian, 


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12  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

the  King's  Secretary  ;  Mr  Alexander  Inglis,  Dean  of  Dunkeld, 
Clerk  of  the  Rolls  and  the  Register.  The  next  Cuthbert  who  is 
noted  was 

II.  John,  probably  a  son  of  the  above  William.  John  was 
succeeded  by  his  grandson, 

III.  George,  who  received  from  Queen  Mary,  dated  at  the 
monastery  of  Haddington,  24th  July,  1548,  a  charter  as  grandson 
and  heir  of  John  Cuthbert,  some  time  of  Auld  Castlehill.  This 
George,  who  married  Agnes  Rose  of  Kilravock,  had  with  his  wife 
another  charter  from  Queen  Mary  on  the  following  day,  25th 
July,  1548,  of  the  following  subjects  : — 

"12  acres  of  land  of  the  lordship  and  heritage  of  Auld  Castle- 
hill, in  the  Sheriffdom  of  Inverness,  viz.— 8  lying  continuously 
between  the  lands  of  Saint  Michael  and  the  heirs  of  the  late 
Robert  Vans,  the  Queen's  Street  and  the  sea ;  4  acres  upon  the 
Castlehill,  viz. — one  in  Milnfield,  between  the  lands  of  the  heirs  of 
the  late  James  Cuthbert,  the  land  of  the  Chaplain  of  the  Holy  Rood, 
the  road  which  leads  to  the  mill,  and  the  rig  which  leads  to  Broom- 
town  ;  the  other  in  the  rield  between  the  lands  of  John  Cuthbert, 
the  land  of  the  said  Chaplaincy,  the  street  leading  to  the  mill, 
and  the  rig  leading  to  the  Draikies  ;  the  third  between  the  lands  of 
the  said  John  Cuthbert  and  the  street  leading  to  the  Draikies  :  the 
fourth  lying  between  the  lands  of  the  late  Robert  Vaus,  the  land 
of  the  Chaplaincy  of  the  Blessed  Virgin  Mary's  High  Altar,  and 
the  way  leading  to  the  Draikies  ;  which  the  said  John  Cuthbert  of 
Auld  Castlehill  resigned,  reserving  his  frank  tenement  of  four 
acres  of  said  lands,  to  be  holden  to  the  said  George  and  Agnes  in 
conjunct  fee,  and  to  his  heirs-male  of  their  marriage." 

George  was  Provost  of  Inverness  and  is  found  in  the  years 
1554  and  1561.  In  1559  he,  as  Provost,  with  the  Bailies,  received 
the  property  and  Church  utensils  of  the  Friars,  conform  to  an 
inventory  bearing  their  receipt  and  acknowledgment,  at  Inverness 
the  22nd  of  December  of  1559,  quoted  in  the  Book  of  Kilravock. 

Those  who  "  pulled  the  ropes  "  acted  with  great  prudence,  and 
in  the  interest  of  the  Burgh  as  they  imagined. 

The  Magistrates  had  taken  step  after  step  for  months  to 
possess  themselves  of  the  Friars'  property,  but  had  hardly  got  it 
when  they  parted  with  it,  voluntarily  or  involuntarily  it  does  not 
appear,  but  unwillingly — I  should  hope — to  the  Cuthberts,  which 
was  their  game  from  the  moment  the  Friars  were  seen  to  be 
friendless  and  powerless  and  on  the  brink  of  being  wiped  out. 
Hitherto  the  Cuthberts  had  been  loyal  and  devout  Churchmen, 


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Minor  Highland  Families.  13 

but  now,  like  the  impecunious  Scottish  nobles,  they  strove  to 
acquire  such  ecclesiastical  property  as  they  could  grasp,  and  one 
of  them,  William,  also  Provost  of  Inverness,  betwixt  the  years 
1570  and  1578,  got  a  tack,  first,  of  all  the  Friars'  property, 
turning  out  the  old  occupants,  and,  later  on,  getting  an  absolute 
right  by  charter  from  the  Burgh — in  other  words,  from  themselves. 
This  clerical  zealot  Provost,  fattening  upon  the  spoils  of  the 
ancient  Church,  is  found,  in  1573,  directing  that  four  men  be 
selected  to  perambulate  the  town  on  Sundays,  in  order  that  the 
public  be  hunted  out  and  compelled  to  attend  the  new  worship. 

Shortly  afterwards  the  Cuthberts  appear  to  have  had  some 
compunctions,  and  gifted  to  the  Burgh  as  a  place  of  interment, 
certain  acres  surrounding  St  Mary's  Chapel,  afterwards  and 
now  known  as  the  Chapel- Yard.  Over  the  gate  these  words, 
which  have  disappeared  for  more  than  a  hundred  years,  were 
placed,  "Concordia*  res  parvae  cresciint,"  of  a  cynical  nature, 
suggesting  a  very  different  meaning  from  that  intended  by  Sallust. 

George  Cuthbert  was  succeeded  by  his  son, 

IV.  John,  who  was  served  heir  to  his  father  on  25th  April,. 
1587,  and  received  a  Royal  charter  from  James  the  Sixth,  dated 
at  Dalkeith,  19th  August,  1592.  The  charter  runs  in  favour  of 
John  Cuthbert  of  Auld  Castlehill  and  his  heirs-male  whatso- 
ever "  bearing  the  arms  and  surname  of  Cuthbert,  the  lands, 
of  Auld  CastlehilJ,  which  the  said  John  resigned  for  this 
infeftment,  and  which  the  King  of  new  gave  to  him  for 
his  good  service  ;  with  mills,  multures,  mill  lands,  woods,  fishings, 
as  well  of  salmon  as  of  other  fishes  in  salt  waters  and  in  fresh ; 
and  incorporated  with  the  same  into  one  free  barony  of  Auld 
Castlehill,  for  which  one  sasine,  taken  at  the  Manor  House  thereof, 
should  stand  for  all ;  And  whereas  the  King  was  aware  that  these 
lands  were  surrounded  by  insolent  men,  and  of  diverse,  powerful 
families,  not  obeying  the  laws,  who,  entering  to  any  part  of  the 
said  lands  during  ward,  etc.,  wished  continuously  to  retain  them, 
therefore  he  wills  that  whenever  these  lands  shall  be  in  the  hands 
of  the  King  by  reason  of  ward  or  non-entry,  the  said  John  shall 
pay  five  marks  yearly  during  the  time  of  ward  and  non-entry,  ten 
marks  for  relief,  and  100  marks  for  marriage  when  they  shall 
happen ;  for  which  sums  the  King  grants  to  the  said  John,  the 
ward  and  relief,  non-entry  and  marriage  when  they  shall  happen." 

John  added  to  the  family  estates  by  the  acquisition  in  respect  of 
unpaid  loan,  of  the  lands  of  Drummond  in  the  parish  of  Dores. 
This  estate  did  not  remain  with  the  Cuthberts  for  any  time, 
although  at  a  much  later  date  a  succeeding  proprietor,  finding 


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14  Gaelic  Society  of  Inuerness. 

Drummond  among  the  subjects  included  in  the  old  titles,  served 
himself  heir  to  that  estate,  but  ineffectually.  The  name  of  J.ohn 
is  also  found  in  1600  and  1611,  in  which  latter  year  the  name  of 
his  son  and  apparent  heir,  William,  is  found. 

V.  William,  who,  on  13th  July,  1624,  is  retoured  heir  to  his 
father  John,  but  does  not  appear  to  have  survived  long  after  his 
succession  to  the  property — for  while  the  retour  of  William  is 
dated  in  1624,  a  charter  under  the  great  seal  is  granted  to  his  son, 

VI.  John,  dated  1  August  1625.  Contemporary  with  this 
John  was  his  cousin  James  Cuthbert  of  Draikies.  It  may  be  con- 
venient here  to  make  some  brief  reference  to  the  Cuthberts  of 
Draikies,  cadets  of  Castlehill.  There  were  three  Draikies — Wester, 
Mid,  and  Easter  Draikies,  whereof  Middle  and  East,  otherwise 
Meikle  Draikies  belonged  to  one  family,  and  West  Draikies,  some- 
times called  Little  Draikies,  to  another.  Meikle  Draikies  fell  into 
the  Castlehill  family  in  the  beginning  of  last  century  as  after- 
mentioned.  After  passing  through  several  hands,  the  three 
Draikies,  as  well  as  Castlehill,  have  become  part  and  parcel  of  the 
Raigmore  property. 

I  happen  to  have  the  testament  testament ar  of  Elizabeth 
Dunbar,  the  wife  of  the  above-named  James  Cuthbert  of  Draikies, 
who  died  upon  the  5th  of  April,  1618,  under  the  seal  of  the 
Commissariat  office  of  Inverness,  loth  November,  1618.  This 
inventory  shows  that  Mrs  Cuthbert  was  a  very  industrious  person 
and  good  manager.  She  was  a  sister  of  Robert  Dunbar  of  Easter 
l>inns  in  Moray,  and  amongst  her  effects  were  17  drawing  oxen, 
4  queys,  52  sheep  and  hoggs,  2  work  horses,  a  brown  nag,  and  a 
brown  hackney  nag.  She  also  possessed  a  deal  of  corn,  and  a 
chain  with  a  tablet  of  gold  estimated  at  XI 1. 

Amongst  her  debtors  were  Angus  Mackintosh  of  Aldturlies, 
Duncan  "in  the  Vennel,"  Thomas- vic-AUister-vic-Uomas  in  the 
Leys,  Joseph  Marjoribanks,  burgess  of  Edinburgh;  Alexander 
Mackenzie,  fiar  of  Gairloch ;  John  Dunbar  of  Benneagefield, 
Zachary  Dunbar,  without  designation,  and  Robert  Munro  of 
Assynt. 

Amongst  her  creditors  were  Mr  James,  Bishop  of  Inverness, 
and  her  servants,  John  Dow,  David  Munro,  and  Sandie  Johnston. 
Her  daughters,  Christian  and  Elizabeth,  shared  her  property, 
excepting  that  Christian,  the  eldest,  is  specially  left  a  gold  chain 
and  a  pair  of  gold  bracelets. 

The  above  James  Cuthbert  was  Provost  of  Inverness,  and  held 
considerable  estates  in  Ross-shire.  George  Monro  of  Meikle  Tarrell, 
dispones  to  him  Lochslyne  and  Pitnellies  by  disposition,  dated 


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Minor  Highland  Families,  15 

Tarbat,  27tli  May,  1622.  The  said  George  Monro  also  grants 
James  Outhbert  a  disposition  of  Amatnatua,  in  Ross,  of  same  date. 
He  did  not,  however,  retain  Lochslyne  long,  for  there  is  a  con- 
firmation by  the  King,  dated  25th  August,  1624,  of  a  disposition 
and  ratification  by  him   with  consent  of   his  wife,  Aber- 

crombie,  in  favour  of  John  Mackenzie  of  Applecross,  dated  at  the 
Chanonry  of  Ross,  3rd  June,  1624,  witnessed  by  Colin,  Earl  uf 
Seaforth  ;  Sir  Donald  Macdonald  of  Sleat,  Knight ;  Donald  Mackay 
of  Strathnaver,  and  others. 

In  1737  the  last  Cuthbert  of  Draikies  conveyed  the  estate  to 
Castlehill,  head  of  his  family.  In  1664  and  1676  notice  is  found 
of  John  Cuthbert  of  Alturlies,  in  the  parish  of  Petty. 

It  is  generally  admitted  that  John,  the  sixth  Cuthbert,  served 
in  the  Swedish  wars  under  Gustavus  Adolphus,  as  also  in  Germany, 
and  that  after  the  death  of  his  protector  he  returned  to  Scotland 
and  married  one  of  the  daughters  of  Cuthbert  of  Draikies,  probably 
one  of  the  two  heiresses  before  named,  but  as  the  only  indication 
of  her  Christian  name  is  "  N.,"  the  identification  is  not  certain. 
Of  John's  marriage  there  were  nine  daughters,  who  were  all 
married,  and  one  son, 

VI I.  George,  who  succeeded,  and  married  Magdalen,  daughter 
of  Sir  James  Fraser  of  Brae,  with  issue — three  sons  and  a  daughter. 
George  does  not  seem  to  have  been  retoured  heir  to  his  father  until 
21st  April,  1677. 

It  was  in  the  time  of  this  George  that  the  French  branch 
applied  for  a  certificate  from  the  Scots'  Parliament  of  gentle  birth. 
The  statement  is  to  a  great  extent  fabulous,  but  there  can  be  no 
doubt  of  the  antiquity  of  the  French  family  of  Colbert.  There  is 
a  most  interesting  little  volume,  "  Note  sur  la  famille  Colbert," 
printed  at  Pans  in  1863,  which  I  long  tried  to  get  without  success. 
Its  perusal,  however,  was  kindly  given  me  by  the  Rev.  George 
Seiguelay  Cuthbert,  present,  and  1 5th  of  his  house,  son  of  the  late 
Seignelay  Thomas  Cuthbert,  and  grandson  of  Lewis  Cuthbert,  the 
last  laird  of  Castlehill,  afterwards  referred  to.  From  it  much 
information  can  be  had,  but  it  must  not  be  relied  on  on  every  point. 
The  short  preface  is  signed  by  "  N.  J.  Colbert,"  and  it  is  understood 
this  family  is  still  represented  by  Baron  Colbert,  who  holds  some 
land  near  Calais.  The  family  of  Colbert  in  France  was  long 
distinguished  in  the  Church,  Senate,  and  Army,  holding  numerous 
titles  of  honour.  I  have  an  engraving,  in  good  preservation,  of 
Louis  XVI.'s  famed  minister,  dated  1660,  an  intellectual  face,  with 
much  reserved  power.     George  was  succeeded  by  his  eldest  son, 

VIII.  John,  who  has  a  sasine  as  heir  to  his  father  on  20th 
April,  1699,  and  married  Jean,  only  daughter  of  the  Right  Rev. 


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16  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness 

N.  Hay  of  Dalgetty,  last  of  the  old  Bishops  of  Moray,  who,  upon 
7th  May,  1700,  was  infeft  in  the  barony  of  Castlehill.  On  6th 
November,  1731,  John  makes  his  last  will  and  testament.  He 
was  succeeded  by  his  eldest  son, 

IX.  George,  who,  with  his  wife,  Mary  Mackintosh  of  Blairvie, 
was  infeft  in  Castlehill,  in  1735.  By  this  lady,  it  is  recorded, 
he  had  a  large  family,  of  whom  eight  were  living  at  their 
father's  death. 

This  George  was  for  a  long  time  Sheriff-Substitute  at  Inver- 
ness. His  affairs  had  fallen  into  disorder,  and  he  was  so 
embarrassed  that  after  his  death  the  family  had  practically  sunk. 

The  estate  was  under  sequestration  for  nearly  thirty  years. 
The  old  Lady  Castlehill,  Jean  Hay,  bestirred  herself  on  her  son's 
death,  and,  with  some  of  her  boys,  first  went  to  London  to  crave 
the  aid  and  protection  of  her  brother,  Dr  Hay.  He  was  in  fair 
practice,  but  not  in  favour  with  Government,  and  told  his  sister 
to  invoke  the  protection  of  the  French  relatives  so  influential  in 
that  country.  This  the  plucky  Dowager  carrisd  out,  and  got  two 
of  her  grandsons  put  in  a  very  fair  way  of  succeeding  in  the 
world,  becoming,  and  brought  up  as,  Roman  Catholics. 

X.  Alexander,  who  was  known  as  "  L'Abbe  Colbert,"  came  to 
Edinburgh  after  an  absence  of  about  thirty  years  and  bought 
back  the  estate.  His  eldest  sister,  Jean,  who  had  married 
Thomas  Alves  of  Shipland,  Inverness,  wrote  to  her  brother  con- 
gratulating him  on  the  purchase,  and  the  Abbe's  reply  has  been 
fortunately  preserved.  It  is  now  given,  and  I  am  sure  every 
reader  will  sympathise  with  him  and  appreciate  his  high-toned 
and  thankful  spirit. 

"  Edinburgh,  5th  January,  1780. — Dear  Sister, — I  received 
your  kind  and  most  agreeable  letter,  of  the  21st  December, 
congratulating  me  on  my  success  as  to  the  purchasing  the  old 
Duchus,  for  which  I  return  you  my  most  grateful  thanks.  If  I 
have  succeeded,  it  was  indeed  against  the  greatest  opposition  and 
difficulties  on  every  side,  as  you  observe.  My  power  and  abilities 
were  inconsiderable,  but  I  have  all  reason  to  thank  God  for  it, 
and  for  believing  that  He  directed  and  assisted  me  in  obtaining 
my  wish.  My  patience  and  perseverance  were  great  and  much 
put  to  a  tryal,  but  the  happy  event  compensates  for  all,  and  the 
due  submission  to  the  will  of  God  commands  my  gratitude  even 
under  these  tryals,  and  gives  me  hope  of  His  further  Almighty 
protection,  without  which  the  wisest  undertaking  of  men  will  be 
baffled.  I  am  rejoiced  to  learn  from  yourself  that  you  have  got 
the  better  of  your  cold,  and  hope  you'll  keep  free  of  it  the  rest  of 


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Minor  Highland  Families.  17 

the  session.  The  winter  has  been  severe  on  many  people's 
constitutions  here — few  or  no  families  have  escaped  colds  and 
chin-coughs.  I  have,  however,  stood  it  out  hitherto,  God  be 
thanked.  I  hope  now  to  continue  to  do  so.  With  my  best  wishes 
of  the  season  to  yourself,  Miss  Molly,  the  Misses  Low,  and  all 
friends,  I  ever  remain,  dear  sister,  your  most  affectionate  brother 
and  humble  servant,  (Signed)         "  Alex.  Cuthbert." 

(Addressed)  "  Mistress  Alves  of  Shipland,  at  her  house  on  the 
Shore,  Inverne88.,, 

Note. — Letter  wafered  and  appears  to  have  been  despatched 
by  private  baud — No  post  mark. — C.F.M. 

It  would  appear  that  the  Abbe"  could  not  hold  the  property, 
being  a  Roman  Catholic  ecclesiastic  and  naturalised  in  France, 
and  it  passed  in  respect  of  a  small  pecuniary  consideration  into 
the  hands  of  his  youngest  brother,  George,  who  was  Provost- 
Marshal  of  Jamaica. 

XI.  George  had  hardly  come  into  possession  of  the  estate — in 
fact,  never  came  back  to  Scotland — when  he  died,  and  was 
succeeded  by  his  brother, 

XII.  Lewis,  who  married  Jean  Pinnock,  after  whom  a  farm  on 
the  estate  of  Castlehill  was  called  Pinnockfield,  which  long  since 
has  fallen  into  disuse.  Lewis  lived  in  the  North  at  Cradlehall  for 
some  years,  and  was  warmly  welcomed  by  the  neighbouring  pro- 
prietors and  the  people  of  Inverness. 

To  the  name  of  Cradlehall  is  assigned  a  curious  history.  It 
was  occupied  after  the  battle  of  Culloden  for  several  years  by  a 
Colonel  Caulfield.  The  upper  part  of  the  house  had  not  been 
properly  finished,  and  was  reached  by  a  moveable  stair  or  ladder. 
The  Colonel  was  exceedingly  hospitable,  and  many  of  his  visitors 
could  neither  find  their  way  home  nor  be  conveyed  up  these  stairs 
to  bed  with  safety.  With  the  assistance  of  a  confidential  English 
servant  of  a  mechanical  turn,  who  was  often  puzzled  how  to  dispose 
•of  "  overcome  "  guests  with  unsteady  feet,  the  Colonel  contrived 
An  apparatus  somewhat  in  the  form  of  a  cradle  into  which  these 
weak-kneed  mortals  were  placed,  and  the  machine  attached  to  a 
pulley,  they  were  wound  up  to  the  attics.  Hence  the  name  of 
"Cradlehall."  Alexander  Baillie,  during  the  re-building  of 
Dochfour  House,  and  later  Mr  Lewis  Cuthbert,  lived  at  Cradlehall. 
which  has  retained  its  name  although  the  cradle  itself  has  long 
•disappeared. 

Lewis  Cuthbert,  when  he  came  to  reside  at  Castlehill,  had  good 
prospects  of  enjoying  his  new  position,  and  entered  on  the  posses- 


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18  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness 

sion  of  his  property  with  e  rery  disposition  to  maintain  the  credit 
of  his  ancient  house,  and  in  answer  to  a  letter  of  congratulation, 
wrote  very  much  in  the  same  terms  as  the  Abbe*  Cuthbert  had  done 
some  years  previously.  I  regret  to  find  when  writing  this  paper 
that  the  letter,  having  been  mislaid,  cannot  be  given  now.  He 
raised  considerable  sums  in  Jamaica  for  the  establishment  of  the 
Inverness  Royal  Academy. 

It  would  almost  appear  as  if  the  family  were  again  to  take  root 
and  recover  their  former  influential  position,  but  this  "  wras  not  to 
be."  Sheriff  Cuthbert  had  not  a  very  good  reputation,  and  in  my 
younger  days,  when  old  families  with  their  traditions  and  old  local 
stories  and  events  were  the  constant  subjects  of  evening  conver- 
sation, the  ultimate  downfall  of  the  Cuthberts  was  attributed  to 
two  causes — 1st,  their  high-handed  seizure  of  ecclesiastical  pro- 
perty after  the  Reformation  :  and,  2nd,  the  judicial  murder,  for  it 
could  not  be  otherwise  described,  of  two  poor  aged  women,  who 
were  burnt  as  witches,  under  sentence  of  Sheriff  Cuthbert,  at  the 
foot  of  the  stream  at  Altmurnich,  which  separates  Knockintihnel 
from  Broomtown,  now  Raigmore  House  grounds.  It  was  also 
alleged  that  the  unfortunate  women  called  down  Heaven's  curse  on 
the  Sheriff  and  his  descendants.  There  can  be  no  doubt  that  very 
many  families  of  those  who  acquired  spoils  of  the  Church  have, 
according  to  a  well-known  work,  died  out  or  become  impoverished 
— whether  through  the  anathemas  of  the  Church  or  not  is  a  matter 
of  question. 

For  a  few  years,  between  1792  and  1795,  Lewis  Cuthbert  lived, 
much  respected,  at  Cradlehall,  and  I  have  the  good  fortune  of 
possessing  his  best  tea  service  of  Rose  Swansea  china.  The  road 
by  Cradlehall  towards  the  Culloden  woods  is  one  of  my  favourite 
drives,  but  I  never  pass  without  regretting  that  the  place,  with 
its  commanding  outlook,  and  splendid  trees  of  the  old  rule,  now 
present  such  a  ragged  and  down-in-the-world  aspect. 

Mr  Cuthbert  unfortunately  became  security  for  the  holders  of 
certain  patent  offices  in  Jamaica,  whereby  he  became  seriously 
involved  ;  and,  for  the  protection  of  his  bankers  in  London,  had  to 
execute  a  disposition  of  his  property  to  Mr  Abram  Roberts,  about 
the  year  1796.  The  estate  had  been  bought  by  the  Abbe  Cuth- 
bert in  1779  for  a  little  over  £8000.  It  had  now  to  be  disposed  of 
to  clear  Mr  Lewis  Cuthbert's  cautionary  obligations,  and,  like  other 
Highland  estates  sold  before  the  close  of  the  Peninsular  War,  it 
brought  an  enormous  increase,  not  much  short  of  £80,000 — the 
chief  purchasers  being  Culloden,  who  extended  his  lands  from 
Carnlaw,  by  Stoneyfield  and  Broomtown  to  Knockintinnel ;  Gordon 


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Minor  Highland  rami  lies.  19 

of  Draikies ;  the  Right.  Hon.  Charles  Grant ;  Duff  of  Muirtown ; 
the  Hon.  Archibald  Fraser  of  Lovat ;  Welsh  of  Millburn  ;  and 
others. 

Litigation  continued,  and  as  late  as  the  year  1832  the  Castlehill 
affairs  were  not  completely  wound  up,  but  notwithstanding  the 
frightful  litigations  and  disputes  among  the  creditors  themselves 
as  to  preferences,  all  the  debts  were  paid. 

Going  back  a  little,  I  wish  to  note  that  John,  the  eldest  son  of 
Sheriff  George  (9th)  Cuthbert,  was  killed  at  Louisburg  under 
General  Wolff,  and  died  without  issue.  Another  son  went  to  South 
Carolina,  and  his  male  descendants  represent  the  family.1 

1  When  this  paper  first  appeared  in  the  newspapers,  it  attracted  the 
attention  of  two  of  the  Cuthberts  in  the  United  States,  viz.,  Lucius  Montrose 
Cuthbert,  formerly  of  South  Carolina,  now  of  Denver,  Colorado  ;  and  Miss 
Katharine  Trescott,  of  Washington  ;  and  from  both  I  received  most  pleasant 
letters.  Miss  Trescott,  writing  on  27th  July,  1896,  amongst  other  things  says 
that  she  is  the  great-great-grand-daughter  of  John  Cuthbert  (8th)  and  of  Jean 
Hay.  That  the  Abbe  Colbert  was  not  a  brother,  but  uncle  of  the  Bishop  of 
Rodez,  is  shown  by  a  letter  from  the  Bishop  to  her  great-grandfather,  which 
letter  is  dated  Gloucester  Place,  London,  25th  August,  1802,  the  house  of 
Lord  Gray,  and  immediately  after  Lewis  Guthbert's  death.  Miss  Trescott 
possesses  a  miuute  knowledge  of  the  American  Cuthberts,  and  of  the  family 
generally.  Mr  Lucius  Cuthbert  is  great-great-grandson  of  James,  second  son 
of  George  (9th)  of  Castlehill,  whose  eldest  brother  John  was  killed  at  Louis- 
burg fighting  under  Wolfe.  James  Cuthbert,  who  emigrated  in  1 737,  went  to 
South  Carolina,  and  settled  at  Beaufort,  in  which  place  the  family  continued 
in  honour  and  comfort  on  their  own  estate  until  the  war  of  1860-1864,  when, 
joining  the  Confederates,  their  estate  was  devastated  by  the  Federals,  and 
nearly  all  the  family  plate,  papers,  and  other  valuables  either  destroyed  or 
appropriated. 

James  Cuthbert  married  Miss  Hazzard  of  South  Carolina,  whose  eldest 
son,  James  Hazzard  Cuthbert,  married  Miss  Furze  of  South  Carolina.  Their 
eldest  son,  Lucius  Cuthbert,  married  Miss  Charlotte  Fuller,  great-niece 
maternally  of  Arthur  Middleton,  one  of  the  signers  of  the  Declaration  of 
Independence.  Lucius  Cuthbert's  eldest  son  was  the  Rev.  Dr  James  Hazzard 
Cuthbert.  Dr  Cuthbert  married  Julia  Elizabeth  Turpin  of  Georgia,  a  lady  of 
high  English  and  French  descent.  One  of  her  predecessors  may  be  mentioned, 
Louis  Jean  Baptist  Champeron,  Chevalier  d'  Antignac,  Colonel  of  King  Louis' 
First  Company  of  Musketeers,  who,  on  settling  in  America,  raised  a  regiment 
in  1776  at  his  own  expense,  serving  with  distinction  at  its  head  during  the 
Revolutionary  Wars.  Dr  Cuthbert  died  in  1890,  leaving  three  daughters  and 
two  sons,  the  eldest,  Lucius  Montrose  Cuthbert,  my  correspondent,  and 
Middleton  Fuller  Cuthbert,  both  unmarried.  Mr  Lucius  Cuthbert,  notwith- 
standing the  family  losses  of  property,  papers,  valuables,  and  the  break-up  of 
their  ancestral  home,  has  gathered  up  the  threads  of  his  family  history,  inter- 
esting himself  greatly  in  all  that  concerns  them,  and  it  is  much  to  be  hoped 
that  fortune  w3l  smile  upon  him  and  enable  him  to  restore  the  family  to  the 
high  position  formerly  occupied  by  them,  attained  through  their  own  merits, 
and  by  their  marriages  with  some  of  the  oldest  and  most  historic  families  of 
the  Southern  States,  sprung  from  the  ancient  nobility  of  Great  Britain 
and  of  France.— C.  F.  M. 


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20  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

Another  of  George's  sons  was  Seignelay,  Bishop  of  llodez, 
who,  on  the  breaking  out  of  the  French  Revolution,  had  to  fly 
from  France,  and  lived  for  many  years  in  England,  where  he  died. 

The  Bishop  was  in  the  North  on  several  occasions,  and  I  have 
some  documeuts  to  whicli  his  signature  is  attached.  1  had  one  or 
two  letters  of  his,  but  they  have  unfortunately  disappeared.  His 
sister,  Magdalen,  married  Major  Johnstone,  with  issue — two  sons 
and  one  daughter.  Neither  of  the  sons  had  any  children.  The 
daughter,  Mary  Ann,  married  the  15th  Lord  Gray,  and  the  Bishop 
himself  died  at  Lord  Gray's  house,  near  London. 

One  of  the  Bishop's  brothers  was  Lewis,  as  above  stated,  the 
last  proprietor  of  Castlehill.  There  were  also  two  brothers, 
Lachlan,  who  died  without  issue,  and  George  (11th),  Provost 
Marshal  of  Jamaica,  who  also  died  without  issue.  Of  George's 
(9th)  daughters  I  have  already  mentioned  Magdalen ;  the  second 
was  Rachel,  who  married  Simon  Fraser,  last  of  Daltullich,  and  left 
several  children  ;  Mary,  married  David  Davidson  1st  of  Can  tray  ; 
and  Jean,  formerly  mentioned,  married  Thomas  Alves  of  Shipland. 
One  of  the  descendants  of  the  Alves  marriage  married  Inglis  of 
Kingsmills,  of  whom  the  present  family  derive.  Another  married 
William  Welsh  of  Millburn. 

Lewis  Cuthbert  died  in  1802,  and  was  succeeded  by  his  eldest 
son, 

XIII.  George,  sometime  of  Jamaica,  who,  dyiug  without  male 
issue,  was  succeeded  by  his  brother, 

XIV.  Seignelay  Thomas,  of  the  Honourable  East  India  Com 
pany's  Service,  thereafter  res  ding  at  Clifton. 

Lewis  Cuthbert  at  his  death  was  survived  by  his  wife,  Jean 
Pinnock,  and  two  sons — George  and  Seignelay  Thomas,  a»«ove 
mentioned,  and  three  daughters — Mary,  Anne,  and  Elizabeth. 

Though  there  is  not  a  single  Cuthbert  now  to  be  found  in  the 
north,  there  are  rumerous  connections  by  marriage,  the  nearest 
being  the  families  of  Can  tray  and  Kingsmills.  Merely  to 
enumerate  the  names  in  the  17th  century  would  exhaust  my 
limits,  so  1  confine  myself  to  one  near  connection  of  the  Castlehill 
family,  Alexander  Cuthbert,  who  was  Provost  of  Inverness.  He 
possessed  a  vast  number  of  small  subjects  within  the  town  and 
territory  of  Inverness,  the  mere  description  in  the  year  1680 
extending  to  twelve  closely-printed  pages.  His  heritable  estate 
fell  to  his  grandson,  John  Cuthbert,  Town  Clerk,  reserving  the 
life-rent  to  Elizabeth  Fraser,  the  Provost's  widow. 

Provost  Alexander  left  a  laige  family,  including,  it  is  snid, 


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Minor  Highland  Families.  21 

nine  daughters,  whereof,  according  to  the  information  of  the 
venerable  Dr  Aird,  late  of  Creich,  one  married  John  Macpherson  of 
Dalraddy,  who  purchased  the  estate  of  Invereshie,  and  through 
whom  the  present  Ballindalloch.  The  late  Thomas  Alexander 
Lord  Lovat,  in  1832,  on  behalf  of  his  g»eat  political  ally,  the  first 
Sir  George  Macpherson-Grant,  tried  to  clear  up  the  connection 
through  the  late  accomplished  antiquarian,  Mr  John  Anderson,. 
W.S.,  but  failed,  as  their  idea  was  that  the  Cuthbert  in  the 
Invereshie  pedigree  was  neither  of  Castlehill  or  Draikies.  Another 
daughter,  according  to  Dr  Aird,  married  Davidson  of  Cantray,  but 
this  was  not  so,  as  the  first  Mrs  Davidson  of  Cantray  was  a  Castle- 
hill, as  already  mentioned.  Another  daughter  married  the  well- 
known  Provost  Hossack,  of  Inverness.  Two  others  married  Ross 
of  Culrossie  and  his  brother ;  and  the  youngest,  Anne,  married  the 
Rev.  James  Chapman,  a  native  of  Inverness,  minister,  first  of 
Cawdor,  and  afterwards  of  Cromdale,  who  died  in  1737,  and  was 
uthor  of  a  very  curious  and  fabulous  history  of  the  Grants. 

Their  grand-daughter,  Anne,  married  Gustavus  Aird,  farmer, 
in  the  parish  of  Kilmuir  Easter,  who  was  born  a  very  few  years 
after  the  Battle  of  Culloden,  father  of  the  worthy  and  well-known 
Gustavus  Aird,  D.D.,  one  of  the  chief  antiquarians  of  the  north, 
who  has  the  heart}'  good  wishes  of  all  Highlanders  in  his  retire- 
ment from  active  ministerial  life. 

Upon  Seignelay  Thomas  Cuthbcrt's  death  he  was  succeeded  by 
his  son, 

XV.  The  Rev.  George  Seignelay  Cuthbert,  formerly  Vicar  of 
Market  Drayton,  and  now  Rector,  residing  at  The  Warden's 
Lodge,  Clewer,  near  Windsor. 

The  Rev.  Mr  Cuthbert,  representative  in  Britain  of  Castlehill, 
paid  his  first  visit  to  Scotland  and  the  north  in  the  autumn  of 
1895.  Both  he  and  Mrs  Cuthbert  are  deeply  attached  to  the 
north  and  the  old  Duchus,  and  they  were  warmly  welcomed  by 
those  on  whom  they  called  during  their  brief  visit,  and  on  whom 
they  created  a  pleasant  impression,  mingled  with  regret  that  they 
must  have  felt  as  mere  sojourners  for  a  time  in  a  strange  land. 

Mr  Cuthbert  has  no  family,  but  it  is  hoped  that  some  of  the 
American  Cuthberts,  recovering  from  their  vicissitudes,  may  yet 
re-establish  the  old  name  of  "  MacSheorais"  permanently  among 


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22  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 


12th  MARCH,  1896. 

At  tke  meeting  this  evening,  Mr  Angus  D.  Macleod,  Winder- 
mere, and  Mr  Donald  Ross,  travelling  auditor,  Highland  Railway, 
were  elected  ordinary  members  of  the  Society.  Thereafter  Mr 
Alexander  Macdonald,  Highland  Railway,  Inverness,  read  a  paper 
entitled  "  Scraps  of  unpublished  Poetry  and  Folklore  from  Glen- 
moriston."    The  paper  was  as  follows  : — 

SCRAPS  OF  UNPUBLISHED  POETRY  AND  FOLKLORE 
FROM  GLENMORISTON. 

I  have  always  considered  it  one  of  the  primary  obligations  of 
our  Society  to  encourage  the  collection  of  unpublished  Gaelic 
poetry  and  folklore.  Of  both  there  is  unfortunately  a  great  deal 
more  still  floating  about  than  should  be.  As  poets  and  story- 
makers  the  people  of  the  olden  times  were  remarkal  ly  prolific. 
Circumstances  favoured  them.  Having  few  or  no  books  to  read, 
the  literary  faculty — which,  perhaps,  has  in  no  stage  of  any 
people's  history  been  entirely  a *.v anting — asserted  itself  iu  song 
and  story  ;  and  the  importance  of  such  in  arriving  at  a  fair  idea 
of  the  social  condition  of  the  ancient  Highlanders  requires  no 
advocacy  here. 

Glenmoriston  in  past  times  had  its  own  share — a  very  con- 
siderable share — of  song-makers  and  story-teHers.  While  it  is  not 
necessary  to  account  for  the  fact  it  is  none  the  less  a  fact  that  in 
this  respect  it  wrould  compare  favourably  with  most  Highland 
glens.  It  may  safely  be  stated  that  but  a  limited  portion  is  yet 
available  of  all  that  is  still  to  be  found  in  the  district,  much  of 
which  could  be  rendered  very  interesting. 

My  first  contribution  this  evening  is  a  poem  composed  by  John 
Grant,  the  father  of  Archibald  Grant  known  as  the  Glenmoriston 
bard.  The  father  was,  in  my  humble  opinion,  however,  by  far 
the  better  poet  of  the  two,  though  not  perhaps  the  better 
seanachie.  John  Grant  composed  several  poems,  songs,  and  some 
hymns,  which  possess  considerable  merit.  The  subject  of  the 
following  production  is  of  melancholy  interest.  It  appears  that 
two  young  gentlemen,  closely  related  to  the  Glenmoriston  family, 
were  returning  one  winter  evening  from  Fort-Augustus,  when  one 
of  them,  in  crossing  a  burn  much  swollen  by  a  great )  ain- storm, 
stumbled  and  was  drowned.  The  sad  accident  awakened  the 
sympathy  of  the  whole  country  around,  and  the  bard's  record  of 


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Unpublished  Poetry  and  Folklore.  23 

it  is  perhaps  fully  as  interesting  as  the  local  newspaper  paragraph 
of  our^enlightened  age  would  render  it : — 

'S  ann  tha  ?n  diubhail  an  drasd' 
Air  ar  culthaobh  'm  Portchlar — 
Fear  an  t-sugraidh  's  an  sta 
'N  ciste  duinte  fo  'n  fhad, 
'S  gu  'm  bi  iomagain  gu  brath 
Air  an  duthaich  is  fhearr  cdir  ort. 

'S  ann  tha  'n  sgeula  nach  binn 
'N  diugh  ri  sh&nn  anns  an  t\r — 
Mu  'u  fhear  cheutach  'bha  grinn, 
'S  iad  an  deigh  thoirt  a  l\nn  ; 
'S  truagh  a  dh'  eirich*  dbornh  fhin 
Nach  fhacas  ri  m'  thim  be6  thu. 

Thug  a  Cballuinn  oirnn  sgr\ob ; 

5S  olc  a  dh'  fhairich  sinn  i ; 

Thug  i  'm  fait  bharr  ar  c\nn ; 

Thainig  dosgainn  ri  'linn 

Fear  do  choltais  'thoirt  dhi'nn 

Ann  an  aithghearra  th\m  ; 

'S  tu  air  do  ghearradh  a  t'  fh\or  bheo-shlaint 

Tha  a  chairdean  fo  ghruaim, 

'S  ann  an  casmhor  tha  cruaidh, 

0  'n  chaidh  Padruig  thoirt  bhuath, 

'S  nach  bu  nar  e  ri  luaidh — 

Fear  do  uaduir  'us  t-uails' 

'Bhi  ga  d'  fhagail  's  nach  gluais  ceol  thu. 

Thuit  a  chraobh  ud  fo  bhlath, 

'S  cha  tig  aon  te  na  h-ait' ; 

'N  uair  a  shaoil  leinn  i  'dh'  fhas 

'S  ann  a  chaochail  a  barr  ; 

'S  leir  a  dhruidh  sid  air  each  ; 

'S  soilleir  dhuinn  gu'm  beil  beam'  mh6r  asd'. 

Tha  do  bhrathair  gun  sunnd 

0  'n  a  chaidh  tu  's  an  uir ; 

'S  nach  bu  gharlaoch  gun  diu 

Bha  e  'g  airidh  ach  thu, 

Fhir  bu  tlath  sealladh  suil ; 

'S  anns  gach  aite  bha  cuis  mhor  ort. 


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24  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

'X  uair  a  thionail  an  sluagh, 
Eadar  chumand'  's  dhaoiu  uails1, 
Bha  iad  uile  fo  ghruaim, 
Mu  chul  bachlach  nan  dual 
'Bhi  ga  thasgaidh  cho  luath, 
Ann  an  clachan  's  an  uaigh  ; 
Sgeul  bu  duilich  ri  luaidh 
Aig  gach  duin'  ort  a  fhuair  eolas. 

Fir  an  t-Shratha  so  thall — 

Thainig  iadsa  na'n  ceann, 

Ga'r  'n  robh  Jn  cairdeas  cho  teann 

Ris  na  dh'  fhag  thu  's  a'  gbleann, 

Chnir  do  bhas  orra  snaim 

'N  uair  a  cbaidb  iad  na'n  rang  comhla. 

I  find  that  the  story  of  this  beautiful  poem  is  so  far  attested  by  a 
gravestone  in  Tnvermoriston  Churchyard,  which  bears  the  fol- 
lowing inscription  : — "  This  stone  is  placed  here  by  Alexander 
Grant,  Portclair,  in  memory  of  his  brother,  Patrick  Grant,  who 
departed  this  life  on  31st  December,  1789,  aged  33  years." 

My  next  contribution  is  of  a  different  character.  It  also, 
however,  possesses  elements  of  the  touching  interest  of  sadness. 
It  tells,  in  beautiful  and  glowing  words,  a  tale  of  disappointed 
love — "the  old,  old  story,  yet  always  new."  In  one  of  the 
appendices  to  Mr  W.  Mackay's  "  Urquhart  and  Glenmoristou," 
reference  is  made  to  a  "  character"  frequenting  the  parish  in 
olden  times  known  as  "An  t-amadan  ruisgte" — the  nude  fool — 
who,  judging  from  the  fragments  of  poetry  ascribed  to  him, 
and  still  sung  by  the  older  generation,  possessed  poetic  powers 
of  no  mean  order.  The  best  known  of  his  compositions,  so  far  as 
I  am  aware,  is  the  one  which  follows  : — 

Gur  a  mor  mo  chilis  mhulaid 

Mun  ni  nach  urra  mi  inns', 
Luidh  sachd  air  mo  chridhe, 

Nach  tog  fiodhall  na  piob ; 
'S  cha  dean  lighichean  feum  domh 

Na  dad  fo  n'  ghrein  ach  aon  ni — 
Gu'm  faicinn  mo  cheud-ghradh. 

*S  mi  'call  mo  cheille  ga  'dith  ! 


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Unpublished  Poetry  and  Folklore,  25 

Cha  'n  'eil  an  cadal,  an  cadal, 

Cha  'n  'eil  an  cadal  an  dan, 
0  nach  fhaic  mi  mo  leannan, 

An  r\bhinn  fharasda,  thlath  ; 
Tha  da  ghruaidh  mar  an  caorrunn, 

'S  a  alios  mar  fhaoilinn  air  charn  ; 
'S  's  e  'bin  'sealltuinn  na  t-aodann, 

A  bheireadh  'ghaoil  dhomh  mo  shlaint'. 

Innsidh  mise  mu  m'  leannan — 

Gruaidh  than'  dhearg  mar  ros, 
Suil  ghorm  fo  chaol  mhala, 

Slios  mar  eaT  air  an  Ion ; 
Benl  is  binn'  na  na  teudan, 

Fait  mar  chleitean  dhe  'n  6r, 
Calpa  cruinn  a*  cheum  eutrom, 

A  thogadh  m'  eislean  's  mo  bhron. 

Tha  mo  shuilean  a'  sileadh 

A  cheart  cho  mire  ri  allt, 
Tha  mo  bheul  air  fas  tioram, 

'S  tha  mo  bhil'  air  fas  mall ; 
Tha  mo  chridh'  air  a  reubadh, 

'S  gach  ball  a  r^ir  sin  de  m;  chleibh, 
0  'n  a  dhealaieh  mo  leannan 

Rium  aig  cladach  Portrigh. 

'S  gur  a  diiimbaeh  mi  m'  pharantan, 

5S  air  mo  chairdean  gu  leir, 
Nach  do  leig  iad  learn  posadh 

Na  cailinn  oig  u  b'  f hearr  beus ; 
'S  e  thubhairt  m'  at  hair  's  mo  mhathair — 

Fhir  gun  naire  gun  cheill, 
'S  ann  a  thoill  thu  do  shracadh 

As  an  aite  le  srein. 

'S  ged  a  chuir  iad  mi  'n  Olaind'. 

Cha  'n  'eil  se61  orm,  's  cha  bhi ; 
'Nuair  a  shuidheas  mi  m'  onar 

Bidh  mi  smaointeachd  na  m'  chridh* 
Ged  bhiodh  agam  mar  stdras 

Na  bheil  a  dh'dr  aig  an  righ, 
B'  fhearr  bhi  c6mhla  ri  m'  Sheonaid 

Ann  an  seomar  leinn  fhin. 


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26  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness 

Ach  na  'n  deanadh  sinn  pdsadh 

Cha  bhiodh  do  she6mraichean  gann, 
Bhiodh  do  chrodh  mun  na  cromtean, 

'S  t'eich  air  lointean  nam  fang  ; 
'S  mi  gun  deanadh  dhuit  brbgan, 

Bileach,  boidheacha,  teann — 
Do  chuid  core  agus  eorna, 

'S  cha  bhiodh  storas  dhuinn  gann. 

'S  i  so  a'  bhliadhna  chuir  as  domh, 

'S  a  thug  am  fait  'bharr  mo  chinn, 
A'  chuid  a  dh'  fhuirich  air  glasadh, 

JS  a'  falbh  na  shad  leis  a  ghaoith ; 
'S  cha  dean  lighichean  feuin  domh, 

Na  dad  fo  n'  ghrein  ach  aon  n\ — 
Gu'm  faicinn  mo  ch^ud-ghradh, 

'S  mi  'call  mo  cheille  ga  dith. 

I  am  aware  that  another  version  of  this  song  exists,  containing  a 
few  more  verses,  which,  however,  are  pretty  much  repetitions,  if 
not  indeed  part  of  an  entirely  different  song,  as  I  should  be  dis- 
posed to  think  they  are.  One  somewhat  suggestive  difference 
occurs  which  may  be  worth  referring  to :  the  line  rendered 
above — 

"  'S  ged  a  chuir  iad  mi  'n  Olaind', 

is  given — 

"  'S  ged  a  chuir  iad  mi  'n  Oil-thigh." 
There  may  be  something  in  this. 

Little  is  known  concerning  the  author  of  this  passionate  lyric, 
except  what  is  to  be  gathered  from  the  eftusion  itself  and  some 
vague  traditions.  He  is  said  to  have  been  a  native  of  Skye — 
another  tradition  says  a  native  of  Gairloch — born  and  brought  up 
in  good  circumstances.  As  the  story  goes,  he  appears  to  have 
fallen  deeply  in  love  with  his  father's  serving  maid — some  say  his 
father's  dairymaid — a  pretty  Highland  lassie,  whom  he  calls  Jessie 
in  his  song.  His  passion  was  warmly  reciprocated,  and  the 
attachment  having  aroused  the  suspicion  of  the  young  man's 
parents,  they  dismissed  the  girl.  She  soon  afterwards  died, 
leaving  her  heart-broken  lover  in  utter  misery.  It  is  related 
further  that,  in  his  wild  despair,  he  one  day  visited  her  grave  to 
shed  tears  of  sorrow  over  her  memory,  and,  while  there,  that  he 
was  seized  by  his  relations,  stripped  of  his  clothes,  and  lashed 


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Unpublished  Poetry  and  Folklore.  27 

with  reins.  Ever  afterwards  he  could  suffer  no  clothing,  and,  his 
mind  giving  way,  he  left  his  native  place  and  wandered  from  country 
to  country  during  the  rest  of  his  life.  People  are  still  living  who 
remember  having  seen  him  carried  from  house  to  house  on  a 
blanket.  It  was  his  pastime  it  is  said,  when  left  alone  to  tear  such 
clothing  as  might  be  put  about  him  to  pieces  with  his  teeth.  When 
being  supplied  with  meals,  he,  it  is  also  said,  was  in  the  habit 
of  asking,  as  his  door  was  being  opened — "  An  tu  a  th'  aim  a 
Sheonaid  ? "  ("  Is  that  you,  Jessie  ? ")  It  may  be  worth  semark- 
ing  that  the  above  piece  very  much  confirms  these  few  particulars 
of  the  author's  life,  and  suggests  more.  Let  it  be  supposed  that 
he,  as  the  song  says,  was  sent  to  Holland,  or  to  a  University, 
in  order  to  forget  his  sweetheart.  It  is  not  impossible  that  he 
would  have  parted  with  her  at  Portree  as  mentioned ;  nor  is  it 
improbable  that  he  would  have  taken  an  early  opportunity  of 
returning  to  his  native  country.  In  the  interval,  however,  Jessie 
may  have  died;  and  on  discovering  the  occurrence  of  the  sad 
event,  he  may,  naturally  enough,  have  paid  a  visit  to  her 
grave. 

Let  me  now  submit  some  verses  to  y«  u  bearing  on  an  institu- 
tion at  one  time  all  important  in  the  Highlands — the  airidh.  Than 
the  circumstances  in  which  the  Highlanders  of  old  lived  while  in 
the  midst  of  such  ideally  pastoral  conditions  as  their  life  on  the 
sheilings  essentially  afforded  none  more  productive  of  poetic 
sentiment  can  well  be  imagined.  It  is  not  too  much  to  say  now 
that  passing  a  considerable  portion  of  every  year  in  such  condi- 
tions must  have  tended  to  render  the  Highlander  the  contemplative, 
freedom-loving  being  he  is.  Around  airidh-life  are  at  anyrate  to 
be  found  many  of  the  sweetest  and  most  perfect  lyrics  in  the 
Gaelic  language,  which,  from  the  peculiarly  pure  and  elevating 
character  of  their  sentiment,  cannot  be  too  well  known.  I  should 
like,  some  time  in  the  near  future,  to  see  a  popular  collection  of 
tiiridh  songs  available.  The  following  verses  appear  to  be  of 
Perthshire  nationality.  They  are  well  known  in  Glenmoriston. 
I  do  not  remember  having  ever  seen  them  in  print : — 

Chunnacas  gruagach  's  an  aonach 
'S  gum  bi  gaolach  na'm  fear  i. 
Chunnacas,  etc. 

'S  a  chiall !  gur  trom  'luidh  an  aois  ortn 
O'na  dh'  fhaod  mi  bha  ma'  ri. 

'S  a  chiall,  etc.  • 


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28  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

'S  trie  's  gnr  minig  a  bha  mi 
'S  tu  air  airidh  'm  Braigh  Raineach. 
'S  trie  's  gur,  etc. 

Air  chnocan  an  easain 
Far  'n  do  leig  sinu  ar  n'  anail, 
Air  chnocan,  etc. 

Ann  am  bothan  an  t-sugraidh 
Gun  ga  'dhunadh  ach  barrach. 
Ann  am  bothan,  etc. 

Bhiodh  mo  bheul  ri  d'  bheul  cubhra' 
'S  bhiodh  a  ruin  mo  lamh  tharad. 
Bhiodh  mo  bheul,  etc. 

'S  thigeadh  fiadh  anns  a  bhuirich 
Ga  ar  dusgadh  le  langan  ; 
'S  thigeadh,  etc. 

Boc  biorach  an  t-seilich, 
Agu8  eilid  an  daraich. 
Boc  biorach,  etc. 

Bhiodh  a'  chubhag  's  an  smudan 
A'  seinn  ciuil  dhuinn  air  chrannaibh, 
Bhiodh  a,  etc. 

'S  cha  'n  'eil  i  'n  Cill-Fhaolain 
Bean  aogais  mo  leannain. 
'S  cha  *n  'eil,  etc. 

Air  ghilead,  air  bhoidhchead  ; 
Air  ehoiread  's  air  ghlainead. 
Air  ghilead,  etc. 

Bean  shiobhalta,  shuairce, 
'S  i  gun  ghruaim  air  a  mala. 
Bean  shiobhalta,  etc. 

Tha  do  bheul  mar  na  iosan, 
'S  tha  do  phog  mar  an  caineal. 
Tha  do  bheul,  etc. 

Tha  do  ghruaidh  mar  an  caorrunn, 
%     'S  tha  do  thaobh  jnar  an  eala. 
Tha  do  ghruaidh,  etc. 


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unpublished  Poetry  and  Folklore.  29 

As  part  of  this  song  a  few  other  verses  are  sung,  which  seem, 
however,  to  be  a  "  reply,"  though  even  as  such  they  do  not 
appear  consistent.  In  olden  times,  it  may  be  noticed,  it  was  by 
no  means  uncommon  for  lovers  to  carry  on  a  sort  of  corres- 
pondence in  poetry,  somewhat  as  is  now  done  in  letters,  but 
much  more  pronounced  and  passionate — probably  because  the  fear 
of  breach-of-promise  experiences  did  not  disturb.  This  maiden's 
"reply" — if  such  it  can  be  taken  to  be — throws  some  very  sug- 
gestive light  upon  the  social  differences  which  existed  at  the  time 
she  composed  it.  It  would  seem  to  more  or  less  reflect  dis- 
paragingly upon  the  women  of  the  airidh.     It  says  : — 

'S  i  mo  mhuine  'rinn  m'  fhoghlum, 
'S  ciamar  dh'  fhaoduinn  'bhi  ni'  chaile. 
'S  i  mo  'mhuime,  etc. 

'S  nach  do  chuir  i  riamh  buarach 
Air  bo  ghuaillfhionn  na  bhallach. 
'S  nach  do  chuir,  etc. 

'S  ann  a  bhiodh  i  ri  fuaghal 
Ma'  ri  gruagaichean  glana. 
'S  ann  a  bhiodh,  etc. 

5S  's  ann  a  bhiodh  i  ri  leintean 
'S  a  si6r  chur  ghreis  orra  'dh'  fheara'. 
'S  's  ann  a  bhiodh,  etc.  \ 

Ann  an  uinneagan  riomhach 
A'  cur  an  t  s\od'  air  na  banua'. 
Ann  an  uinneagan,  etc. 

Gloomy  death  sometimes  visited  the  Highland  sheiling,  and 
under  circumstances  which  naturally  appealed  to  the  Muse  for 
expression.  The  following  poem  records  the  accidental  death  of  a 
young  woman  by  her  lover's  gun  going  off  while  he  was  playing 
with  her  in  the  little  bothy.     1  leave  it  to  tell  its  own  tale  : — 

A  fhleasgaich  is  cumaire 

Gumma'  mi  'n  de  thu, 

'Direadh  a'  mhullaich 

'S  do  ghunn'  air  dheagh  ghteusadh. 

Hoirionn  'us  0, 

Hi  hurabhaidh  G, 

Hi  hoirainn  'us  oro  ho. 


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30  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

'Direadh  a*  mhullaich 

'S  do  ghunn'  air  dheagh  ghleusadh ; 

'S  t'  iosgaidean  geala 

Fo  bhreacan  an  fh&lidh. 

T  iosgaidean  geala 
Fo  bhreacan  an  fheilidh ; 
Ach  dh'  fhag  thu  'ghruagach 
Dhonn  gun  eirigh. 

Dh'  fhag  thu  'ghruagach 
Dhonn  gun  eirigh ; 
Dearg  fhuil  a  cridh' 
Ann  am  broil  leach  a  leine. 

Dearg  fhuil  a  cridh' 
Ann  am  broilleach  a  leine  ; 
Tbeirig-sa  dhachaidh 
'Us  innis  mar  dh'  &rich. 

Theirig-sa  dhachaidh, 
'Us  innis  mar  dh'  &rich  ; 
Innis  do  'mathair, 
Nach  caraich  i  breid  oirr'. 

Innis  do  'mathair 
Nach  caraich  i  breid  oirr' ; 
'S  innis  do  h-athair 
Nach  tar  e  gu  'reitinn. 

Innis  do  h-athair 
Nach  tar  e  gu  'reitinn ; 
'S  innis  do  'braithrean 
Gur  craiteach  an  sgeula. 

Innis  do  'braithrean 
Gur  craiteach  an  sgeula — 
'Bhanarach  bhuidhe 
Na  'luidh'  air  an  deile. 

'Bhanarach  bhuidhe 
Na  'luidh'  air  an  deile  ; 
'Mhulachag  's  a'  mheag 
Mar  'dh'  fhag  i  fhein  i. 


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Unpublished  Poetry  and  Folklore.  31 

'Mhulachag  's  a'  mheag 
Mar  'dh'  f hag  i  fhein  i ; 
'N  t-im  air  a'  mhuighe 
Mar  'dh'  fhag  i  'n  de  e. 

'N  t-im  air  a'  mhuighe 
Mar  'dh'  fhag  i  'n  de  e  ; 
'M  buachaille  galach, 
'S  a'  bhanarach  d^urach. 

'M  buachaille  galach, 
'S  a'  bhanarach  deurach ; 
'S  a  bho  mhaol  dhonn 
A  sior  gheumnaich. 

Another  very  fine  song  lamenting  the  death  of  a  young  woman 
by  her  lover's  dirk,  under  similar  circumstances,  will  be  found  in 
Vol.  XII.  of  the  Celtic  Magazine. 

Notwithstanding  that  a  very  considerable  number  of  songs  in 
praise  of  whisky  is  already  abroad,  let  me  give  the  world 
one  more,  which,  I  think,  has  never  yet  received  pub- 
licity. It  is  the  composition  of  one  of  Macphadruig's  herds 
who  lived  a  few  generations  ago.  It  shows  us  how  the  herds — at 
any  rate  occasionally — passed  their  spare  time.  The  words  are  still 
suug  to  a  stirring  air  : — 

•    Gur  trie  a'  falbh  na  Sroine  mi 
A  chuideachd  air  na  smeoraichean  ; 
'S  e  sid  a  dh'  fhag  cho  eolach  mi 
Air  stopan  na  te  ruaidhe. 

Tha  buaidh  air  an  uisge-bheath', 
Tha  buaidh  air  nach  coir  a  chleith  ; 
Tha  buaidh  air  an  uisge-bheath' ; 
'S  co  math  teth  'us  fuar  e, 

Gur  math  an  am  an  earraich  e, 
'S  cha  mhiosa  'n  am  na  gaillioinn  e  ; 
'S  e  'n  cu  am  fear  nach  ceannaich  e, 
'S  e  'n  t-umaidh  dh'  fhanas  bhuaithe. 

'S  math  's  aithne  dhomh  co  'dh'  61as  e — 
Luchd  fearainn  saor  'us  dr6bhairean, 
Ceannaichean  'us  osdairean, 
'S  an  seol'dair  cha  d'  thug  fuath  dha. 


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32  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

Ui8ge-beatha  'cheatlain, 

Le  siucair  geal  na  chuapan  anu  ; 

'S  aim  learn  bu  mhiann  bhi  'n  taice  ris, 

'S  e  'dol  na  'lanair  uaine. 

The  "  te  ruadh"  (red-haired  lady)  referred  to  was  the  mistress 
of  an  establishment  in  the  vicinity  of  the  herd's  grounds, 
where  he  and  other  knowing  ones  could  procure  "a  drop  on  the 
sly."  This  little  song  shows  clearly  enough  that  the  visitors  knew 
how  to  enjoy  their  dram  fully.  In  this  connection  let  me  quote 
a  verse,  sung,  I  think,  to  the  tune  of  "The  ewie  wi'  the  crookit 
horn,"  in  which  the  "  whisky-still,"  onse  so  common  in  the  High- 
lands, is  described  with  considerable  allegorical  aptness — 

A*  chaora  crom  a  th'  air  an  leachduinn, 
Bhleothnadh  i  pinnt  agus  seipean  ; 
'S  chuireadh  i  le  seid  a  sroin 
An  gille-craigean  air  a  dhruim. 

I  have,  however,  heard  other  interpretations  put  upon  these  lines, 
of  whieh  more  than  one  rendering  seems  to  occur. 

I  will  now  entertain  you  with  a  song  of  a  character  which  will 
probably  suggest  to  you  a  few  others  of  a  similar  kind.  It  is  a 
production  of  womanly  love,  disappointed  feelings  and  pride. 
When  the  maidens  of  the  present  enlightened  age  lose  their 
-charmers,  they  either  bring  them  to  a  court  of  law  or  leave  them 
severely  alone.  When  the  young  ladies  of  the  olden  time  lost 
their  sweethearts  they  adopted  the  much  more  classical  course  of 
giving  embodiment  to  their  feelings  in  verse.  What  the  new 
woman  will  do  in  this  direction  I  am  not  here  called  upon  either 
to  discuss  or  to  guess.  By  the  following  composition,  the 
.authoress,  Margaret  Macintyre,  not  so  very  long  ago  dead,  showed 
how  she  felt  under  the  smart  of  unfulfilled  promises.  She  goes  on 
to  say,  addressing  her  lost  lover — 

Thug  thu  corr  'us  raithe  bhliadhna 
'S  tu  ga  m'  iarruidh  air  mo  chairdean  ; 
'S  o  nach  d'  fhuair  thu  na  bha  mhiann  ort 
Chaidh  tu  'dh'  iasgach  sios  am  Bana. 

Char  thu,  char  thu  mi  a  dh'  aindeoin, 
'S  cha  dean  aithreachas  bonn  sta  dhomh. ; 
'S  o  nach  dean  's  ann  's  fheudar  lubadh 
Leis  a'  chuis  a  bhi  mar  tha  i. 


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Unpublished  Poetry  and  Folklore.  33 

Tha  thu  dileas  dhomh  mar  charaid, 
Tha  thu  dealaidh  dhomh  mar  nabuidh ; 
Tha  thu  do  leannan  dhomh  os  'n  iosal, 
'S  o  nach  fhiach  thu  rirni  thu  m'  fhagail. 

Cha  'n  'eil  ni  a  dheanadh  te  'ile, 
Ris  nach  cuirinn  fhe*in  mo  lamh  dhuit ; 
Nighinn  'us  dh'  fhuaighinn  do  leine, 
'S  leiginn  do  spr&dh  air  an  airidh. 


Tha  mi  cho  math  ris  na  fhuair  thu 

Ged  nach  'eil  mo  bhuail'  air  airidh  ; 

Tha  mi  'Chloinn-an-t-Shaoir  o  'n  Chruachan 

'S  a  dh'  f  trior  f huil  uasal  Tigh  Mhic-Phadruig. 

Chaidh  tu  'dh'  iarraidh  nighean  Studdart, 
'S  tha  i  leamhach  buidhe  grannda  ; 
'S  cha  'n  'eil  aon  a  tha  mu'n  cuairt  di 
Nach  'eil  suarrach  air  a  nadur. 


Ach  na'm  bidhinn-sa  cho  beairteach 
Ris  an  te  a  ghlac  air  lamh  thu, 
Bhidhinn  sinte  'nochd  na  d'  achlais, 
'S  ise  'dearras  ma'  ri  'mathair. 

I  will  now  quote  four  stanzas  of  what  is  supposed  to  be  a  lost 
song,  by  Mhiri  Nigh  Jn  Alasdair  Ruaidh.  These  verses  are  well 
known  in  Glenmoriston,  where  the  following  tradition  is  told 
concerning  them. — I  submit  the  story  for  what  it  is  worth,  and  hi 
the  hope  that  it  will  arrest  interest  and  receive  some  attention, 
with  a  view  to  the  recovery  of  the  whole  song.  According  to  this 
story  there  seems  to  have  been  some  mystery  about  Mary's 
paternity.  She  appears  to  have  been  known  as  the  daughter  of 
Alexander  Macleod,  son  of  Alasdair  Ruadh,  who  was,  according 
to  Mackenzie's  biographical  sketch  ("Beauties  of  Gaelic  poetry"), 
"  a  descendant  of  the  chief  of  that  clan."  It  is  said,  however,  to 
have  transpired,  when  she  was  pretty  well  advanced  in  years, 
that  she  was  the  daughter  of  a  distinguished  Macdonald  of  the 
time;  and  that  when  she  discovered  the  fact  herself  she 
composed  a  song,  the  following  verses  of  which  are  all  that  I  have 
ever  heard : — 


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34  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

Thoir  tasgaidh  bhuam  'an  diomhaireachd 
0  chionn  an  fhad  so  'bhliadhnaichean — 
Cha  'n  airgiod  glas  's  cha  'n  iarunn  e 
Ach  Ridire  glic  riasanach 
'Fhuair  meas  'us  misneachd  iarlaichean  ; 
'S  o'n  'fhuair  mi  'nis  gu'm  iarraidh  e 
Gu'n  riaraich  mi  Sir  D6mhnull. 
'S  o'n  fhuair,  etc. 

Mo  chuid  nihdr  gun  airceas  thu, 
Mo  chleasan  snuaghmhor,  dealbhach  thu ; 
Mo  ghibht  ro  phriseil  ainmeil  thu  ; 
O'n  chuimhnich  mi  air  seanchas  ort, 
Be  'n  dichiumhn'  mar  a  h-ainmicht  thu  ; 
'S  na'n  leiginn  bhuam  air  dearmad  thu 
Gu  dearbha  cha  b'e  'choit  e. 
'S  na  'n  leiginn,  etc. 

'S  gur  craobh  de'n  abhall  phriseil  thu, 
De  'n  mheas  is  blasda  brldhealachd, 
'S  is  dosraich  an  am  cinntinne, 
'S  a'  choill  's  uach  biodh  na  crionagan 
De  'n  fhior  fhuil  uasal  fhionanach  ; 
'S  gu'm  bi  mi  dhoibh  cho  dichiollach 
'S  gu  'n  inns'  mi  'nis'  na  's  eol  domh. 
'S  gu'm  bi  mi.  etc. 


Thig  sliochd  mh6r  Mhic  Cathain  leat 
'S  an  dream  rioghail  Leathanach, 
'Bha  uasal,  uaibhreach,  aighearach, 
'S  bu  chruadalach  ri  labhairt  riu 
Fir  Chinntlre  's  Lathuirne  ; 
'S  gur  mairg  luchd  B^urla  bhraitheadh  tu 
'S  nam  maithibh  sin  'an  toir  ort. 
'S  gur  mairg,  etc. 

I  have  left  myself  little  time  to  go  to  any  extent  into  the  folk- 
lore of  Glenmoriston.  .  This  will  form  the  subject  of  a  separate 
paper  at  some  future  date.  I  will  give  you,  however,  the  local 
version  of  a  Glenmoriston  folklore  tale  of  some  interest,  and  of 
which  a  few  variants  are  to  be  met  with.  This  is  the  story  of 
Cailleach  a'  Chraich  (the  Hag  of  the  Craach) : — In  olden  times 
almost  every  Highland  hamlet  had  its  hag,  or  "cailleach."  These 
extraordinary    beings — whatever     they    were — according     to    a 


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Unpublished  Poetry  and  Folklore.  35 

common  tradition,  all  frequented  the  wildest,  weirdest,  and  most 
solitary  parts  of  the  districts  where  they  were  to  be  found,  but 
yet  very  often  such  places  as  drovers,  packmen,  and  travellers 
generally  had  from  time  to  time  to  pass.  An  interesting  feature 
of  the  belief  in  them  was  that  while  some  of  them  were  considered 
inimical,  particularly  to  members  of  certain  clans,  others  were 
looked  upon  as  friendly.  The  parish  of  Urquhart  and  Glen- 
moriston,  about  a  hundred  years  ago  or  so,  contained  no  less  than 
five  or  six  of  those  "  cailleachs,"  most  prominent  among  whom  was 
Cailleach  a?  Chraich  (the  Hag  of  the  Craach).  The  Craach  is  a 
wild  high-lying  district  about  half-way  between  Corriemony  and 
Achnanconeran,  in  the  hills  of  Glenmoriston.  Here  by  the  side  of 
Loch-a'-Chraich  (the  Lake  of  the  Craach),  and  under  the  shade  of 
Creagan-a'-Chraich  (the  Rock  of  the  Craach),  this  wicked  old  hag 
is  said  to  have  for  years  met  and  molested  and  murdered  many  a 
weary  wayfarer.  Like  most  similar  regions  the  "  Craach  "  always 
had  an  evil  reputation.  Numerous  stories  are  still  told  thoughout 
the  parish  as  to  loss  of  life  at  this  place  under  "  uncanny ,;  circum- 
stances. One  man  of  the  name  of  Ala&dair  Cutach  (Short  Sandy), 
while  running  after  a  young  mare  that  had  escaped  from  Coire- 
Dho,  was  lost  sight  of  at  the  Craach  by  his  companions,  who  were  not 
so  swift  of  foot  as  he;  and  though  searched  for  diligently  for  days, 
he  was  never  found,  alive  or  dead.  Some  time  after,  it  is  told, 
another  man  was  lost  at  this  same  place,  and  nothing  was  known 
concerning  his  disappearance  until  his  "ghost"  spoke  to  a  friend, 
describing  the  circumstances  of  his  death  at  the  Craach  as 
unspeakably  awful,  and  adding  that  none  ever  saw  such  a  fearful 
sight  there  as  he  since  Alasdair  Cutach  went  amissing. 

According  to  one  tradition  Cailleach  a*  Chraich's  pet  aversion 
was  the  Clan  Macmillan.  There  is  some  evidence,  however,  to 
show  that  members  of  the  Clan  Macdonald  were  particularly  the 
objects  of  her  malice  and  spite.  In  an  old  song  one  of  them  says 
regarding  her  : —  ♦ 

"Cha  teid  mi  an  rathad 
A  dh'  oidhche  na  'latha  ; 
Cha  'n  'eil  deagh  bhean  an  tighe 
'S  a'  Chraach. 

"  Tha  i  trom  air  mo  chinneadh 
Ga  'marbhadh  's  ga  milleadh  ; 
'S  gu'n  cuireadh  Dia  spiorad 
Ni  's  fhearr  ann." 


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36  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

(I  shall  not  go  the  way 
By  night  or  by  day  \ 
She's  not  the  best  of  good-wives 
That's  at  the  Craach. 

She's  hard  on  my  clan — 
Killing,  destroying  our  men ; 
0,  that  God  would  place  a  kindlier 
Spirit  yonder). 

This  remarkable  member  of  the  hag  world  appears  to  have  had 
a  peculiar  way  of  bringing  about  the  death  of  her  victims.  After 
struggling  with  a  man  for  a  time,  she  usually  deprived  him  of  his 
bonnet,  in  which  she  danced  furiously  until  a  hole  was  made  in  it, 
when,  as  common  belief  says,  he  dropped  down  dead.  On  one 
occasion  she  accosted  a  man  belonging  to  Inverwick,  Glen- 
moriston,  and  gave  him  a  most  severe  handling,  but,  with  the 
assistance  of  a  faithful  dog,  he  got  out  of  her  clutches.  However, 
he  lay  ill  for  some  months  aftewards,  while  the  poor  dog  was 
almost  flayed  in  the  encounter  with  the  "  cailleach."  On  another 
occasion  a  Macdonald  from  Glengarry  was  met  by  her  as  he  was 
passing  the  notorious  "  Craach."  After  a  brief  struggle,  she  ran 
off  with  his  head-gear.  Believing  that  his  life  depended  upon  its 
recovery  before  she  could  make  a  hole  in  it  he  pursued  her.  A 
fierce  fight  ensued,  with  the  result  that  in  the  end  Macdonald  had 
the  best  of  the  situation,  but  not  until  he  had  buried  his  dagger 
in  the  body  of  the  "  cailleach."  In  another  version  of  this  tale 
it  is  stated  that  Macdonald  merely  recovered  his  bonnet  from  the 
hag,  and  that  she  told,  him,  as  he  was  running  out  of  her  sight, 
that  he  would  die  at  a  certain  hour  on  a  certain  day  within  the 
year,  which  is  said  and  believed  to  have  actually  taken  place. 


26th  MARCH,  1896. 

At  the  meeting  this  evening,  Dr  Samuel  Rutherford  Macphail, 
M.D.,  Medical  Superintendent,  Derby  Borough  Asylum,  was 
elected  an  ordinary  member  of  the  Society.  Thereafter  Mr  A. 
Macbain,  M.A.,  read  a  paper  contributed  by  Mr  W.  G.  Stuart, 
entitled  "  Stiathspey  Raid  to  Elgin  in  1820."  The  paper  was  as. 
follows  : — 


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Strathspey  Raid  to  Elgin.  37 


STRATHSPEY  RAID  TO  ELGIN  IN  1820. 

Elgin  and  the  rich  agricultural  plains  of  Moray  afforded 
abundant  spoil  to  Highland  caterans  and  rievers  in  the  days  when 

"  Sweeping  faulds  and  tooming  of  the  glen 
Had  still  been  held  the  deeds  of  honest  men." 

On  the  3rd  of  July,  1402,  Alexander  Macdonald,  third  son  of  the 
Lord  of  the  Isles,  with  a  band  of  his  many  followers,  plundered 
the  Cathedral,  as  well  as  many  of  the  private  houses,  and  returned 
home  rich  with  the  spoils  of  the  burgh.  Nearly  three  hundred 
years  later,  in  1691,  the  Clan  Grant  organised  a  cattle-lifting 
expedition,  and  made  a  descent  into  the  valley  of  Dallas  and  the 
neighbouring  districts  of  Pluscarden  and  Duffus.  Sir  Robert 
^Gordon  of  Gordonstoun,  on  hearing  of  the  raid,  gathered  a  few 
of  his  retainers  and  overtook  the  Strathspey  men  as  they  were 
driving  the  creack  on  the  heights  above  Knockando.  Sir  Robert 
•demanded  by  what  authority  they  acted  in  plundering  and  robbing 
the  tenantry  under  cloud  of  night.  "  By  order  of  the  Laird  of 
"Grant,"  replied  the  leader.  t%  I  cannot  believe  that,"  said  Sir 
Robert,  "  unless  you  show  me  his  writing."  "  Here  it  is,  then," 
again  answered  the  leader  of  the  expedition,  handing  a  letter  to 
the  Baronet,  who  immediately  turned  his  horse,  rode  off  to  Edin- 
burgh, produced  the  letter,  and  obtained  decree  againot  the  Laird 
of  Grant  for  the  whole  amount  of  his  losses. 

It  was  one  thing,  however,  to  obtain  a  decree,  and  quite 
another  matter  to  enforce  it ;  and  a  Sheriff-officer  entering  Strath- 
spey in  those  days  on  such  business  embarked  on  a  very  dangerous 
enterprise,  as  Gordonstoun's  unfortunate  messenger  very  soon 
found  out.  In  Dunbar's  "  Social  Life  in  Former  Days,"  there  is 
a  copy  of  the  complaint  made  by  the  messenger  in  question 
regarding  the  hard  usage  he  met  with  at  the  hands  of  the  Strath- 
spey men  : — 

"  I,  Hugh  Thaine,  messenger,  hireby  declaire  that  I  am  not  at 
this  tyme  able  to  goe  the  length  of  Edinburgh,  by  reasone  of 
sickness  and  unabilitie  of  body,  Uaveing  beine  now  sex  or  seven 
weeks  werry  unabell,  by  reasone  of  the  hard  usage  I  mett  with  in 
Strathspey,  in  the  wood  of  Abernethie  ;  and  therefor  I  doe  heirby 
dyser  and  give  full  power,  to  Sir  Robert  Gordone  of  Goidonstoun 
(who  did  imploy  me  about  executing  of  Councell  letters  in  that 
place)  to  suplicat  the  Lords  of  ther  Majesties  Privie  Concill,  or 
any  other  of  thir  Majesties  Judges  to  whom  it  may  belonge,  that 


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38  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

the  saide  Lords  or  Judges  may,  in  ther  prudence,  apoyant  some 
way  for  reddressing  and  punishing  the  abuses  comitted  against  the 
law  and  government  upon  my  persone,  and  those  in  my  company, 
which  wer  as  followith,  viz.,  I  (having  upon  the  fyftinth  of 
October  last  citted  some  witnesses,  and  upon  the  sixteenth  thereof 
citted  the  Laird  of  Grant ;  and  upon  the  seventinth  thereof,  be 
eight  houres  in  the  morning,  as  I  went  about  three  myles  from 
Ballichastell,  towards  Culnakyle,  both  the  Lairds  houses,  at  a 
place  called  Craigmuir,  at  the  wood  of  Abernethie),  and  three  men, 
called  Peter  Morrison,  in  Fochabrs ;  John  M'Edwart,  in  Glen- 
rinnes,  and  Alex.  Bogtoun  in  Khieclehik,  that  were  with  me  were 
seized  upon  by  a  pearty  of  armed  men  who  most  maisterfullie  and 
violently  struck  me  with  their  gunnes ;  gave  me  a  stobbe  with  a 
durke  in  my  shoulder,  and  a  stroak  with  my  owen  sword ;  robbed 
me  of  my  money,  my  linnens,  some  cloathes,  my  sword  and  pro- 
vision ;  and  of  the  principal  Councell  letters  many  coppies  thereof 
and  uther  papers  ;  then  bound  me  and  my  company  and  always 
threatened  me  with  pressnt  death ;  for  executing  the  foresaid 
letters,  and  examined  me  on  oath  whither  any  of  those  men  did 
belonge  to  Gordonstoun  that  they  might  instantly  kill  him  and 
offred  his  liffe  to  anyone  of  our  companie  that  wold  hange  the  rest 
of  us  ;  thereafter  laid  us  down  and  secured  us  with  horse-roapes 
on  the  ground  within  the  wood,  wher  we  leay  in  cold,  hunger, 
and  great  miseries  for  four  days  and  three  nights,  threatened 
hourly  with  present  death.  My  conditione  of  healthe  is  welle 
knowen  to  the  minister  and  neighbours  in  the  paroch  wher  I  live 
and  may  be  atested  by  them  if  neid  require.  In  testimony  of  the 
verity  heirof,  I  have  written  and  subscribed  ther  presents  with 
my  hand  at  Fochabers  the  fourt  day  of  December  jajvcj  nynty  one 
yeires  (1691)." 

Although  the  messenger  was  "  thus  badly  treated,  it  was  not 
with  the  object  of  avoiding  payment,  but  rather  to  show  their 
resentment  at  the  means  employed.  The  Laird  of  Grant  at  this 
time  was  Sir  Ludovic,  who  with  his  son,  the  Brigadier,  ruled  at 
Castle  Grant.  The  Brigadier  was  one  of  the  foremost  men  in 
Scotland  in  his  day,  distinguished  in  the  camp,  and  the  Court, 
and  a  bosom  friend  of  John — the  great  Duke  of  Argyll."  The 
Knight  of  Gordonstoun  was  therefore  summoned  to  come  in 
person  to  Castle  Grant  and  receive  the  full  amount  of  his  claim. 
Sir  Robert,  on  entering  the  Castle,  was  received  with  every  mark 
of  respect.  On  receiving  the  money  he  immediately  handed  it  to 
the  Brigadier,  saying,  "This  is  a  present  from  Robert  of  Gordon- 
stoun, and  I  will  see  my  tenants  righted  myself."     The  Brigadier 


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Strathspey  Raid  to  Elgin.  39 

stood  up,  and  after  warmly  thanking  Sir  Robert  for  his  chivalrous 
generosity,  said,  "  If  ever  I  become  Laird  of  Grant,  I  will  gar  the 
rash  bush  keep  the  cow  and  the  pin  in  the  cot  door  the  sheep  in  a* 
time  coming " — a  promise  which,  from  that  day  to  this,  has  been 
faithfully  kept  by  all  the  chiefs  and  clansmen  of  Strathspey. 

But  the  Strathspey  raid  of  1820  must  not  be  placed  in  the 
same  category  as  an  ordinary  cattle-lifting  expedition.  It  is  of 
interest  historically,  being  the  last  rising  of  a  clan  in  Scotland ; 
and  although  the  event  happened  76  years  ago,  almost  in  the 
middle  of  this  19th  century— called  by  its  critics  the  utilitarian 
age — the  expedition  presents  features  of  loyalty  and  devotion  to 
chief  and  clan  as  romantic  in  their  character  as  anything  that 
happeaed  in  the  golden  age  of  chivalry  and  romance. 

The  country  lying  between  the  two  Craigellachies  has  now 
been  in  the  peaceful  possession  of  the  Grants  for  over  500  years  ; 
and  though  more  exposed  than  most  Highland  districts  to  the 
peaceful  and  more  commercial  invasion  of  the  Lowlander,  yet 
76  years  ago  the  Highlanders  of  Strathspey  were  primitive  and 
unsophisticated  to  a  degree  of  which  those  who  have  known  them 
only  during  the  last  30  years  or  so  can  form  but  a  very  faint 
conception.  The  late  minister  of  Abernethy,  Rev.  Mr  Stewart, 
used  to  tell  a  quaint  story  of  an  old  poacher  and  smuggler  who 
died  in  my  own  day.  James  had  built  himself  a  bothy  under  the 
shadow  of  Cairngorm,  and  with  his  musket  bade  defiance  to  all 
intruders.  When  over  80  years  of  age  he  had  to  wrestle  with  the 
grim  king  of  terrors ;  and  the  minister,  hearing  of  his  illness, 
visited  the  old  man  and  reminded  him  of  his  spiritual  duties, 
saying,  "  You  know  there  are  just  two  places  beyond  the  grave,  to 
either, of  which  all  the  human  race  must  go."  "Well,"  replied 
James,  "  I'll  tell  you  the  plain  truth  about  myself.  In  my  young 
days  I  had  a  lot  of  companions,  and  we  were  always  together.  I 
was  wi'  them  at  Baiteal  nam  Bat'  (Battle  of  the  Sticks)  in  Elgin, 
and  I  was  in  the  middle  of  the  big  fight  at  Tomintoul  market. 
Och,  och !  many  a  spree  and  fight  and  ploy  we  had ;  but  now 
they  are  all  gone  before  me,  I  feel  gey  lonely  and  forsaken  now, 
and  when  I  die  I  would  just  like  to  join  my  old  companions 
wherever  they  are."  Surely  this  will  parallel  the  exclamation  of 
Bardolph  on  hearing  of  Falstaffs  death,  "Would  I  were  with  him 
wheresoever  he  is." 

In  the  country  of  the  Grants,  chieftainship,  though  legally 
deprived  of  its  ancient  and  arbitrary  authority,  was  neither 
forgotten  nor  disowned.  Its  spirit  and  all  its  finer  features 
survived,  and  to  a  great  extent  regulated  the  relations  between 

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40  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness 

landlord  and  tenant.  The  chief  was  still  the  father  of  his  clan  ; 
and  his  tenantry  showed  anything  but  a  disposition  on  their  part 
to  sever  their  allegiance.  For  generations — and  it  is  the  same 
still — it  was  a  point  of  honour  with  the  I^airds  of  Grant  never  to 
remove  an  old  tenant,  and  a  list  of  the  tacksmen's  names  in  Strath- 
spoy  reminds  us  of  one  of  the  early  chapters  in  1st  Chronicles, 
where  son  succeeded  father  in  endless  succession.  In  the  days  of 
the  clan  feuds  the  Grants,  owing  to  the  position  of  their  country, 
their  strength,  and  unity,  managed  to  hold  their  own  without 
having  to  fight  their  neighbours.  Yet  in  the  hour  of  our  country's 
danger,  there  was  no  lack  of  courage  and  military  spirit  among  the 
men  of  Strathspey.  In  the  years  1793-1794,  when  the  "  good  Sir 
James  " 

"  Kept  his  castle  in  the  North 
Hard  by  the  thundering  Spey, 
And  a  thousand  vassals  dwelt  around, 
All  of  his  lineage  they," 

General  Stewart .  of  Garth  tells  us  that  Sir  James  raised  the 
Strathspey  Fencibles  all  from  his  own  estates,  and  within  two 
months  of  the  declaration  of  war  with  France  the  regiment  was 
assembled  at  Forres,  being  so  complete  in  numbers  that  70  men 
were  discharged  as  supernumerary.  As  soon  as  Sir  James  Grant's 
Fencibles  were  embodied  he  made  further  proposals  to  raise  a 
regiment  for  present  service,  and  accordingly  the  97th  Regiment 
of  the  line,  consisting  of  1000  men,  all  from  the  Grant  estates, 
with  the  exception  of  two  or  three  companies,  was  formed.  From 
the  parish  of  Abernethy,  in  particular,  a  large  number  joined  the 
army,  and  during  the  Bonaparte  wars  the  military  spirit  ki  this 
parish  was  kept  brightly  burning  by  the  pulpit  ministrations  of 
Rev.  John  Grant,  popularly  known  as  the  "minister  of  the 
Gazette."  Mr  Grant,  before  settling  down  as  minister  of  Aber- 
nethy, was  for  some  years  in  the  army  as  chaplain  to  a  Highland 
regiment,  and  he  took  a  passionate  interest  in  the  loyalty  and  mili- 
tary spirit  of  his  flock.  When  many  of  them  were  away  fighting  the 
battles  of  their  country,  he  used  to  allay  the  anxiety  of  their 
relatives  at  home  by  reading  the  "  Gazette  "  newspaper  to  his  con- 
gregation before  dismissing  them  on  Sabbath.  After  the  downfall  of 
Napoleon,  a  great  many  pensioners  returned  to  Strathspey  to  tell 
a  younger  generation  of  the  battles  and  sieges  in  which  they  had 
been  engaged.  In  1820,  for  example,  there  were  22  half -pay 
officers  living  in  Strathspey,  besides  a  large  number  of  discharged 
non-commissioned  officers  and  privates.     It  was  at  this  time,  then, 


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Strathspey  Haid  to  Elgin.  41 

when  the  French  war  just  over  had  fostered  a  lighting  spirit  among 
all  classes  of  the  people,  that  the  death  of  George  the  Third 
caused  a  General  Election,  and  the  Goddess  of  Discord,  in  the  form 
of  Politics,  seized  the  opportunity  of  throwing  her  apple  among 
the  Electors  of  Elgin,  and  setting  them  all  by  the  ears. 

Prior  to  the  Reform  Bill,  the  group  of  burghs  consisting  of 
Elgin,  Cullen,  Banff,  Inverury,  and  Kintore,  sent  a  member 
to  Parliament,  the  Town  Council  of  each  burgh  choosing  a  dele- 
gate to  represent  the  community,  and  each  burgh,  in  its  turn, 
being  the  returning  burgh  where  the  other  delegates  met,  and 
where  the  election  was  made. 

The  family  of  Grant,  for  nearly  100  years,  possessed  a  para- 
mount influence  in  Elgin  politics  ;  and  Cullen,  since  the  accession 
of  the  family  to  the  Seafield  estates  and  title,  was  also  theirs. 
Banff,  though  now  and  then  a  little  erratic,  was  generally  true  to 
the  Duff  interest ;  while  Inverury  and  Kintore  were  entirely  under 
Lord  Kintore's  influence.  It  was  one  thing,  however,  to  command 
a  burgh  and  another  thing  to  retain  the  command.  The  Magis- 
trates, Councillors,  and  Deacons  had  to  be  constantly  feasted, 
petted,  and  favoured.  The  good  Sir  James  Grant  of  Grant  was, 
according  to  General  Stewart,  the  best  patron  Elgin  tradesmen 
were  ever  blessed  with,  for  most  of  them  were  mainly  supported  by 
his  liberality  and  bounty.  When  resident  at  Grant  Lodge,  in  the 
immediate  vicinity  of  Elgin,  the  parish  ministers,  elders,  Magis- 
trates, and  Town  Council  were  generally  invited  to  their  Sunday 
dinner  with  him.  •  When  Sir  James  died  he  left  a  family  of  two 
sons  and  three  daughters? — Lewis  Alexander  and  Francis  William, 
aud  the  daughters,  Ann,  Margaret,  and  Penuel.  Owing  to  the 
delicate  state  of  his  brother's  health,  Colonel  Francis  was  really 
the  laird  from  the  time  of  his  father's  death,  and  during  the  long 
period  of  40  years  he  was  unwearied  in  his  efforts  to  promote  the 
best  interests  of  every  one  on  his  estates.  He  was  also  animated 
by  the  same  desire  as  his  father  before  him  to  cultivate  the  friend- 
ship of  the  citizens  of  Elgin,  but  as  it  was  in  Ossianic  times — 

"  In  Alpin,  in  the  days  of  the  heroes,  Fingal  neglected  to  call 
some  of  the  Fingalians  to  the  feast  he  gave  at  Druim  Dialg.  The 
proud  rage  of  the  heroes  was  aroused." 

On  the  occasion  of  Prince  Leopold's  visit  to  Elgin,  Colonel  Francis 
Grant,  with  the  Provost,  Magistrates,  and  Town  Council,  were  in 
waiting  at  the  town's  marches  to  confer  on  him  the  freedom  of  the 
city,  after  which  Colonel  Grant  invited  the  Provost  and  Town 
Council    to   dine   with   the   Prince  at  Grant    Lodge,    while  the 


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42  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

inhabitants  of  the  burgh  were  feasted  at  a  free  banquet  on  the 
lawn.  Owing  to  a  mistake  of  the  Town-Clerk,  Patrick  Duff,  who 
issued  the  invitations,  the  Deacons  of  the  Trades,  who  were  often 
joined  to  the  Council,  and  possessed  great  influence  among  the 
Freemen  of  the  Burgh,  were  overlooked,  and,  thinking  themselves 
insulted,  would  neither  take  bite  nor  sup. 

When  Colonel  Grant  heard  of  this  he  went  himself  personally 
to  the  Deacons  and  made  an  ample  apology.  He  assured  them  it 
was  entirely  a  mistake  of  the  Town-Clerk,  and  he  trusted  they 
would  pass  it  over.  He  asked  them  to  partake  of  the  entertain- 
ment provided,  and,  if  not  satisfied  with  that,  to  go  to  any  house 
or  inn  in  the  city,  and  regale  themselves  with  the  best  of  meat 
and  drink,  and  he  would  pay  all  expenses.  "  No,  no,"  they 
answered,  "  he  had  looked  over  them  before  the  Prince,  and  the 
King  might  come  in  the  cadger's  way  yet."  They  could  feast  at 
their  own  expense.  Accordingly  they  adjourned  with  their  friends 
to  the  Trades'  Hall,  sent  for  a  cask  of  whisky,  got  uproariously 
drunk,  and  then  proceeded  to  perambulate  the  streets,  conducting 
themselves  in  a  lawless  and  disorderly  manner.  This  was  the 
beginning  of  the  rift  which  culminated  in  the  raid  of  the  High- 
landers later  on.  A  slight  somewhat  similar  in  character  a  short 
time  before  resulted  in  the  loss  of  the  burgh  of  Inverury  to  the 
Kintore  interest  ;  so  that  in  1820  the  Earl  of  Fife  had  the  com- 
mand of  Banff  and  Inverury,  and  the  Kintore  and  Seatield  interest 
had  Kintore  and  Cullen,  while  Elgin  was  supposed  to  be  doubtful. 
To  secure  the  Cathedral  City  then  was  the  grand  aim  of  both 
parties. 

In  the  previous  Parliament  the  sitting  member  was  a  Seatield 
nominee — Mr  Robert  Grant,  afterwards  Sir  Rooert  Graut,  Governor 
of  Bombay,  and  brother  of  Lord  Glen  dg.  When  he  heard  that 
he  was  to  be  opposed  by  General  Duff,  brother  of  Lord  Fife,  he 
got  frightened,  and  declined  to  stand,  and  accepted  an  English 
burgh  provided  for  him  by  the  Government.  The  Kintore  party 
then  brought  forward  Mr  Archibald  Farquharsou  of  Finzean,  a 
gentleman  of  very  moderate  ability,  and  quite  unknown  in  the 
constituency.  The  traditions  of  both  the  Grants  and  the  Kintores 
lay  too  much  in  the  direction  of  Pope's  axiom,  that  u  whatever  is, 
is  right,"  to  satisfy  the  aspirations  of  the  more  advanced  electors ; 
while  General  Duff  was  supposed  to  be  favourable  to  reform.  It 
may  be  taken  for  granted  that  in  these  circumstances  Lord  Fife 
was  not  unwilling  to  take  advantage  of  his  opportunity  to 
make  himself  popular  to  the  citizens  of  Elgin.  His  lordship 
then    was    in    the    prime    of   life,    gay,    affable,    and    generous; 


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Strathspey  Raid  to  tlgin.  43 

and  these  qualities  soon  made  him  very  popular  in  Elgin. 
He  frequently  took  up  his  abode  in  the  town,  and  made 
himself  acquainted  with  the  Burgesses,  their  wives  and  daughters, 
loading  them  with  gowns,  bonnets,  ribbons,  shawls,  and 
rings ;  while  he  scattered  money  freely  among  the  humbler 
classes — until,  when  he  walked  the  streets,  he  was  followed  by  a 
train  of  idlers  singing  his  praises,  and  every  door  and  window  was 
filled  with  maidens  and  matrons  whose  devotion  was  rewarded  by 
a  ring  or  a  silk  gown,  while  the  poor  husbands  and  fathers  had  no 
rest  or  peace  unless  they  supported  the  gay  and  gallant  Earl.  The 
Town  Council  of  those  days  consisted  of  17  members  ;  the  Council 
electing  the  new  when  their  year  of  office  was  expired.  A  political 
agent  who  could  contrive  to  keep  nine  good  men  and  true  in  the 
Council  was  sure  of  electing  a  delegate  favourable  to  the  interest 
of  his  party  when  a  general  election  should  come. 

There  was  a  good  deal  of  canvassing  on  both  sides  ere  it  was 
known  which  party  had  the  majority,  some  declaring  openly  for 
the  Grant  party,  others  for  Lord  Fife,  while  some  would  not 
declare  themselves.  This,  with  the  absence  of  the  Provost,  Sir 
Archibald  Dunbar,  in  Edinburgh,  and  one  of  the  Councillors, 
Bailie  Innes,  professing  to  stand  neutral,  kept  the  inhabitants  in 
a  state  of  anxious  suspense.  The  Grants  feared  that  the  Burgh, 
and  with  it  the  election,  should  be  lost,  for  the  Duffs  canvassed 
with  such  success  that  they  prevailed  on  seven  to  declare  for 
General  Duff;  so  that  the  state  of  the  parties  was  understood  to 
stand  eight  for  the  Grant  interest  and  seven  for  the  Fife  party. 
The  great  object  then  of  tho  Fife  party  was  to  bring  over  one  of 
the  majority  to  the  other  side.  Every  form  of  bribery  was  tried, 
but  as  yet  unsuccessfully.  As  soon  as  the  Provost  returned  he 
was  petitioned  by  200  burgesses  to  support  General  Duff,  but  he 
refused  to  have  the  petition  presented  to  him,  and  remained  firm 
in  his  allegiance  to  the  Grants. 

Party  feeling  reached  a  white  h^at  when  it  was  rumoured  that 
the  Grants,  fearing  the  fate  of  their  cause,  had  endeavoured  in  the 
drad  of  night  to  kidnap  Lewis  Anderson  and  James  Culbard,  two 
^  Lord  Fife's  supporters.  To  steal  a  Councillor  and  send  him  out 
of  the  way,  to  lock  up  a  poor  Bailie  in  defiance  to  all  law  and 
justice,  was  a  rough-and-ready  method  of  defeating  an  opponent 
joften  resorted  to  in  the  electioneering  contests  of  a  past  genera- 
tion ;  and,  curiously  enough,  however  innocent  the  Grant  party 
may  have  been  of  man-stealing  designs  on  this  occasion,  it  is  quite 
certain  that  they  employed  a  somewhat  similar  stratagem  to 
ensure  the  election  of  their  Chief  seventy  years  before.     At  that 


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44  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

time  the  proprietor  of  Kinsteary  opposed  Sir  Ludovic  Grant  of 
Grant  as  a  candidate  for  the  representation  of  Elgin.  The  High- 
landers of  Strathspey,  indignant  that  any  Lowland er  should 
presume  to  compete  with  their  Chief,  the  Laird  of  Grant,  came  in 
detached  parties  to  the  neighbourhood  of  Elgin,  where  they  were 
seen  loitering  about  for  days.  When  any  of  them  was  questioned 
as  to  their  business  they  always  pretended  to  be  looking  for  a 
"  beastie  cattle  that  they  lost."  After  watching  every  movement 
of  their  destined  prey  for  a  week,  they  at  last  seized  a  favourable 
opportunity,  threw  a  plaid  over  Kinsteary's  head,  and  hoodwinked 
his  companions  in  the  san  e  manner.  The  candidate  for  the  burghs 
was  detained  among  the  hills  of  Strathspey  until  the  laird  of  Grant 
was  returned  for  the  county.  It  is  only  justice  to  Sir  Ludovic  to 
mention  that  he  was  no  party  to  this  transaction,  and  it  was  many 
years  after  the  event  before  he  understood  that  the  bold  effort  to 
ensure  his  election  was  made  by  his  own  clansmen. 

The  attempt  at  kidnapping  in  1820,  if  ever  made,  was  not  so 
successful,  but  it  had  the  effect  of  rousing  the  ire  of  the  Duff, 
who,  baffled  in  their  efforts  to  obtain  a  majority  in  the  Counc, 
determined  to  retaliate  on  their  opponents  by  kidnapping  some  f 
the  Council  favourable  to  the  Grant  interest.  So,  on  the  morning 
of  Saturday,  the  11th  March,  while  a  worthy  Councillor,  Mr 
Kobert  Dick,  was  removing  his  shutters  from  his  shop  windows, 
some  three  or  four  men  came  behind  him  and  put  a  handkerchief 
over  his  eyes,  and  carried  him  up  Craig's  Close,  round  by  Batchen 
Lane,  to  Mackenzie's  Inn,  where  a  carriage  was  waiting.  The 
Councillor's  daughter,  who  was  a  party  to  the  plot,  and  who 
received  a  present  of  two  diamond  rings  from  Lord  Fife,  came  up 
with  a  change  of  linen  for  her  father.  He  was  then  put  into  the 
carriage,  and,  guarded  by  a  couple  of  men,  was  driven  rapidly  to 
Burghead,  where  a  well-manned  boat  was  in  readiness  to  receive 
him.  He  was  soon  transported  to  the  other  side  of  the  Firth,  and 
landed  at  Dunrobin,  where  he  was  hospitably  entertained  by  some 
Morayshire  gentlemen  who  were  in  Sutherlandshire  at  this  time. 
After  a  few  days'  enjoyment,  the  worthy  Councillor  and  his  escort 
started  leisurely  by  land  for  Elgin,  where  they  arrived  too  late  for 
the  election  of  a  delegate. 

In  like  manner  another  Councillor,  but  of  higher  grade,  being 
no  less  than  a  Bailie,  and  at  the  time  acting;  as  Chief  Magistrate, 
while  taking  a  turn  behind  his  garden,  as  was  his  usual  custom  in 
the  morning,  was  seized  by  a  party  of  Duffs,  carried  to  Bishopmill, 
hurried  into  a  chaise,  conveyed  in  like  manner  to  the  seaside,  where 
an  open  boat  transported  him  and  his  captors  to  the  same  destina- 


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Strathspey  Raid  to  Elgin.  45 

tion.  But  Bailie  Taylor  and  his  captors  were  not  so  fortunate  as 
Councillor  Dick  ;  a  strong  head  wind  had  sprung  up,  they  were  all 
night  on  the  sea  in  an  open  boat,  and  after  having  nearly  lost  their 
lives  they  managed,  with  the  utmost  difficulty,  to  get  into  the 
harbour  •  f  Brora,  after  being  1 7  hours  on  the  passage.  His  family 
did  not  know  what  had  become  of  him,  and  his  wife  was  in  such  a 
state  of  grief  and  anxiety  that  some  of  the  Fife  party  who  were  in 
the  secret  had  to  tell  her  that  her  husband  was  safe.  Bailie 
Taylor,  like  his  companion  in  adversity,  made  his  way  home  by 
land,  and  arrived  in  Elgin  too  late  for  the  election  of  a  delegate, 
Having  in  this  summary  fashion  secured  a  majority  in  the  Council 
favourable  to  the  Fife  interest,  they  immediately  called  a  Council 
meeting,  which  the  Grant  party  did  not  attend,  and  as  the  Town 
Clerk  refused  to  appear  or  deliver  up  the  keys  of  the  Council 
Chamber,  another  Clerk  was  chosen  for  the  time,  and  the  following 
Wednesday  was  appointed  for  the  election  of  a  delegate. 

In  consequence  of  the  manoeuvres  related  above,  Elgin  was  in 
a  most  excited  state.  Colonel  Grant  was  in  Italy,  and  the  Earl  of 
Seafield  was  living  in  retirement  at  Grant  Lodge  with  his  sisters, 
Lady  Ann  and  Lady  Penuel.  The  beautiful  Lady  Ann  was  a 
woman  of  commanding  presence,  great  wit,  and  force  of  character, 
and  for  some  <?ays  previous  to  this  she  dared  not  appear  on  the 
streets  without  being  jeered  and  insulted  by  the  riff-raff  of  Elgin  ; 
while  in  the  evenings  and  at  night,  howling  mobs  surrounded  the 
house  and  policies,  singing  rubbishy  rhymes  and  uttering  insulting 
cries,  "  Lord  Fife  for  ever,"  and  "  May  the  diel  pick  out  the 
Grant's  liver."  At  last,  so  completely  was  Grant  Lodge  invested 
by  the  townspeople  in  the  Fife  interest,  that  no  one  was  allowed 
to  enter  or  leave  the  house. 

The  high-spirited  Lady  Ann  resented  this  disgraceful  treat- 
ment, and  between  Saturday,  11th,  and  Sabbath  morning,  the 
12th  March,  18*20,  she  contrived  the  escape  of  one  of  her  grooms, 
who  sprang  on  a  horse,  and  galloped  to  Castle  Grant,  a  distance 
of  over  30  miles,  in  three  hours,  the  noble  steed,  it  is  reported, 
like  Dick  Turpin's  celebrated  mare  u  Black  Bess"  at  York,  falling 
under  him  dead  upon  reaching  the  Castle  door.  The  message  that 
Lady  Ann  sent  to  her  clansmen  was  that  her  family  were  held 
prisoners  in  their  own  house  by  the  burghers  of  Elgin.  This 
intelligence  produced  an  extraordinary  effect  in  Strathspey,  where- 
Lady  Ann  was  universally  beloved.  No  fiery  cross  ever  sped  on 
swifter  wing  proclaiming  the  magic  gathering  word,  "  Stand  fast, 
Craigellachie,"  than  the  news  that  Lady  Ann  was  in  danger 
travelled  through  the  Strath.     The  men  of  the  village  of  Gran- 


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46  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

town  were  collected  by  tuck  of  drum  just  as  they  were  preparing 
for  Church.  In  Cronidale,  the  Rev.  Gregor  Grant  received  the 
message  in  the  pulpit,  stopped  the  sermon,  announced  the  call  to 
the  rescue,  and  offered  up  a  short  prayer  in  Gaelic  for  success. 

Forthwith  might  be  seen  gathering  from  every  hill  and  glen, 
as  in  the  palmy  days  of  old,  every  man  who  could  grasp  a  stick,  so 
that  within  two  hours  of  receiving  the  summons  about  300  men, 
with  the  minister  at  their  head,  marched  for  Elgin.  Captain 
Grant,  Congash,  the  factor  on  the  Strathspey  estates,  sent 
messengers  in  all  directions  to  rouse  the  tenantry.  Mr  Forsyth, 
Dell,  father  of  the  present  minister  of  Abernethy,  Dr  Forsyth, 
assisted  by  Mr  Grant,  Rothiemoon,  assembled  the  Abernethy  men. 
Patrick  Grant  of  Auchterblair,  who  afterwards  became  Field- 
Marshal  General  Sir  Patrick  Grant,  performed  a  like  service  in 
Gleann  Chearnach — the  glen  of  heroes- -as  the  parish  of  Duthil 
was  anciently  called  ;  so  that  in  the  course  of  a  few  hours  some 
700  men  had  assembled  at  the  different  points  of  rendezvous,  or 
were  across  the  mountains,  seeking  the  shortest  route  to  the  place 
where  their  chieftainess  was  imprisoned.  In  fact,  the  Highlanders, 
to  a  man,  turned  out,  and,  travelling  all  night,  hundreds  were  in 
Elgin  on  Monday  morning  ere  many  of  the  burghers  were  out  of 
bed. 

As  we  can  imagine,  the  excitement  in  Strathspey  among  the 
women  and  the  old  men  who  stayed  at  home  was  very  intense,  and 
the  wildest  rumours  prevailed ;  one  woman  circulating  the  report 
that  they  had  taken  with  them  the  "  Armoury  "  at  Castle  Grant ; 
another  that  a  battle  had  already  been  fought,  that  many  had 
been  killed,  and  that  Lady  Ann  herself  was  amongst  the  wounded. 
But,  leaving  the  Strathspey  women  to  imagine  all  sorts  of  horrors, 
let  us  see  how  they  are  preparing  in  Elgin  for  the  onslaught.  The 
civic  rulers  had  a  vague  suspicion  that  something  of  the  kind  was 
contemplated,  and  when  the  first  body  of  the  Highlanders,  consist- 
ing of  the  Cromdale  and  Ad  vie  men,  arrived  at  Aberlour,  about  1 1 
o'clock  on  Sabbath  night,  one  of  Lord  Fife's  tenants,  a  Mr  Inkson, 
suspecting  the  cause  of  so  many  men  passing  down  Speyside, 
hurried  on  horseback  to  Elgin,  arrived  there  about  three  o'clock 
4m  Monday  morning,  proceeded  to  Mackenzie's  Inn,  wrhere  such  of 
the  Council  as  were  favourable  to  Lord  Fife  were  kept  under  a 
strong  guard,  and  informed  the  quaking  burghers  that  the  Grants 
had  risen  as  in  ancient  times,  and  that  a  band  between  two  and 
three  hundred  were  already  on  the  march,  and  within  a  short 
distance  of  the  town.  The  tidings  caused  the  greatest  consterna- 
tion and  terror  amongst  the  burghers.     The  bugle  blew,  the  drum 


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Strathspey  Raid  to  Elgin.  47 

beat,  and  those  of  the  guard  that  could  be  spared  ran  in  all 
directions  to  awaken  the  inhabitants.  Soon  the  streets 
were  crowded  with  panic-stricken  and  bewildered  citizens 
who  imagined  that  the  Highlanders  had  come  to  sack  the  town,  as 
the  Macdonalds  of  the  Isles  did  centuries  before.  For  greater 
security  the  Council  were  escorted  under  a  strong  guard,  from  the 
hm  to  the  Tolbooth  :  and  when,  a  little  before  five,  the  alarm  was 
given  that  the  Highlanders  were  at  hand,  the  citizens,  who  hid 
armed  themselves  with  staves,  swords,  and  other  weapons,  flew  to 
the  Tolbooth,  which  happened  to  be  the  place  farthest  from 
danger,  with  a  determination  to  stand  by  it  to  the  last.  Others 
of  the  citizens,  more  aggressive  in  spirit,  stationed  themselves  at 
the  gate  of  Grant  Lodge,  provided  with  baskets  filled  with  broken 
bottles,  to  hurl  at  any  one  who  might  attempt  a  rescue.  Mean- 
while the  Highlanders  were  marching  on,  silently  at  first,  until 
the  Sabbath  was  over,  and  then  the  word  was  given  to  Peter  Bane, 
the  celebrated  piper  and  fiddler,  who,  with  the  Abernethy  men, 
followed  in  the  wake  of  Cromdale  and  Advie,  to  tune  up  his 
drones,  "0  Pharig  'nis  seid  suas  gu  brais  i,"  and  the  rest  of  the 
journey  was  enlivened  by  his  stirring  strains.  There  were  not 
many  people  astir  as  they  passed  along,  but  such  as  were  up  could 
not  conceive  what  was  ado,  and  no  further  information  could  be 
obtained  from  the  Highlanders  than  that  they  were  going  to  the 
market.  u  Where  was  the  market  ?'  "  Och,  just  at  Elgin  the 
morn."  The  Duthil  men  followed  some  hours  later,  and  took  the 
most  direct  route,  as  they  had  much  further  to  go.  About  two 
miles  from  Elgin  a  general  rendezvous  was  held,  and  the  army 
was  easily  arranged  in  military  order.  As  it  was  only  five  years 
after  the  peace,  many  of  the  men  were  old  soldiers,  and  among 
them  were  several  half-pay  officers  who  had  seen  service  in  almost 
every  quarter  of  the  glohe,  while  the  factor  and  leader  of  the 
expedition,  Captain  Grant,  Congash,  was  an  old  militia  officer. 

About  5  a.m.  on  the  morning  of  March  the  13th,  a  memorable 
day  in  the  annals  of  Elgin,  the  first  detachment  of  the  Highlanders 
made  their  appearance.  Marching  up  Moss  Street,  with  pipers 
playing,  they  proceeded  to  Grant  Lodge.  Their  numbers,  and  the 
resolute  wTay  they  grasped  their  sticks,  was  enough  for  the  broken 
bottle  brigade  ;  the  siege  was  immediately  raised,  the  burghers  fled, 
and  the  Strathspey  men  quietly  entered  the  policies  of  Grant 
Lodge,  where  they  were  joyfully  welcomed,  Lady  Ann,  genial, 
kind-hearted,  and  aftable,  going  about  amongst  her  clansmen,  and 
showering  her  smiles  and  grateful  greetings  on  every  one.  It  wag 
a  serious  business  to  feed  seven  hundred  men  at  a  moment's  notice 


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48  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

after  such  a  long  journey,  but  a  number  of  bullocks  were 
slaughtered  at  Linkwood,  a  cask  of  whisky  was  broached,  and 
provisions  were  prepared  for  the  entire  party  on  the  lawn.  As 
the  blood  of.  the  Highlanders  was  up,  the  difficulty  was  in  pre- 
venting a  collision  between  them  and  the  townspeople.  The 
Provost  was  so  afraid  of  a  conflict  that  he  crept  into  Grant  Lodge 
by  a  back  door,  and  implored  Lady  Ann  on  his  knees  to  get  the 
Highlanders  to  save  the  town  and  return  to  their  homes.  This 
appeal  was  backed  up  by  the  Sheriff,  who,  accompanied  by  the 
clergy  of  the  town,  waited  on  Lady  Ann,  and  urged  on  her  the 
absolute  necessity  of  ordering  the  Highlanders  to  return  home 
before  anything  more  serious  would  happen.  Her  ladyship 
replied  that  the  men  had  made  a  very  long  journey,  and  would 
require  refreshment  and  a  good  rest  before  they  were  in  a  con- 
dition to  march  home  again ;  and,  further,  that  she  must  have  an 
assurance  from  the  Sheriff  and  Town  Council  that  special  con- 
stables vvould  be  sworn  in  to  preserve  the  peace,  and  the  inmates 
of  Grant  Lodge  would  no  longer  be  molested.  This  the  Sheriff 
and  Town  Council  promptly  agreed  to  do.  The  Highlanders,  after 
being  satisfied  that  the  freedom  and  safety  of  the  Earl  and  his 
sisters  was  assured  for  the  future,  agreed  to  return  home  that 
same  afternoon. 

It  was  insinuated  by  the  Fife  party  that  the  object  of  the 
expedition  was  to  settle  the  election  as  they  did  70  years  before, 
but  that  this  idea  was  wholly  unfounded  will  be  apparent  when 
we  consider  how  easily  they  were  persuaded  to  return  home  as 
soon  as  they  were  satisfied  that  their  Chief  and  his  sisters  were 
safe.  They  left  their  homes  almost  at  a  moment's  notice,  some  of 
the  men  from  the  western  part  of  the  parish  of  Duthil  marching  a 
distance  of  47  miles  in  ten  hours.  They  expected  to  have  to  fight 
their  way  through  a  mob  of  thousands  of  infuriated  Lowlanders. 
But  they  never  shrank  from  the  ordeal.  They  relied  upon 
courage,  firmness,  and  a  natural  talent  for  fighting  to  overcome 
the  formidable  hosts  which  rumour  told  them  were  arrayed 
against  their  Chief.  When  they  arrived  in  Elgin  they  found  that 
numerically  they  were  much  stronger  than  their  opponents,  and 
it  reflects  great  credit  on  their  forbearance  and  respect  for  law  and 
order  that  they  agreed  to  return  home  again  without  cracking  a 
few  Lowland  heads.  They  left  at  three  o'clock  on  Monday  after- 
noon, with  drums  beating  and  pipes  playing. 

The  Highlanders  having  arranged  to  go  home  by  a  different 
route,  Lady  Ann,  with  thoughtful  consideration,  sent  orders  to 
Forres  and  every  inn  on  the  road  to  give  them  anything  they 


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Strathspey  Raid  to  Elgin.  49 

wanted.  At  Forres  they  made  a  night  of  it,  eating,  drinking,  and 
dancing  till  the  morning,  and  then  on  to  Strathspey  without  a 
halt,  many  of  the  men  from  Duthil  and  the  more  remote  parts  of 
Abernethy  having  walked  fully  80  miles  without  going  to  bed. 
Even  after  the  departure  of  the  Highlanders,  Elgin  continued  in 
an  indescribable  state  of  excitement.  All  the  able-bodied  citizens 
were  sworn  in  as  special  constables,  drilled,  and  placed  under  the 
com  maud  of  one  of  the  many  retired  military  gentlemen  residing 
in  the  town.  Patrols  were  established,  sentries  placed,  and  rounds 
made,  and  the  town  put  as  nearly  as  possible  under  military  law. 
In  the  course  of  the  forenoon  the  inhabitants  were  strengthened 
by  Lord  Fife's  tenantry  pouring  in  from  the  surrounding  districts, 
armed  with  sticks  and  other  weapons ;  while  rumour,  with  her 
hundred  tongues,  every  now  and  then  brought  reports  that  the 
Highlanders  had  not  returned  to  Strathspey,  but  were  lurking  in 
the  adjoining  woods,  ready  to  enter  the  town  after  nightfall  and 
carry  off  Lord  Fife's  supporters. 

About  10  o'clock  at  night,  a  false  alarm  that  the  Highlanders 
were  going  to  attack  the  town  put  all  on  the  alert.  The  horn  of 
alarm  was  again  sounded,  the  drums  beat,  and  the  inhabitants 
armed  themselves  as  best  they  could,  and,  with  the  constables, 
paraded  the  streets  for  hours,  while  instructions  were  given  to  the 
occupiers  of  all  houses  fronting  the  streets  to  have  their  windows 
lighted  up  with  candles,  so  that  if  a  Highlander  was  lurking  about 
he  could  be  immediately  detected.  Accordingly,  an  extensive 
illumination  took  place.  Many  of  the  Grant  party  were  obliged 
to  light  up  their  nouses  as  well,  to  prevent  their  windows  being 
broken.  But  no  enemy  appeared,  the  report  originating  by  two 
or  three  poor  fellows  having  got  too  much  drink,  who  were  seen 
loitering  about  the  woods,  and  whose  numbers  were  magnified  into 
as  many  hundreds. 

On  Tuesday  the  town  was  a  good  deal  excited,  the  special 
constables  still  continuing  at  their  posts,  and  the  guards  at  theirs, 
and  old  women  of  both  sexes  seeing  a  Highlander  ready  to  pounce 
on  them  at  the  corner  of  every  street  if  they  crossed  the  door  after 
nightfall.  Wednesday  was  the  day  appointed  for  electing  a 
delegate,  and  an  immense  crowd  gathered  on  the  streets,  while 
the  constables,  with  the  Sheriff  at  their  head,  walked  through  the 
town  to  see  that  no  riot  took  place.  As  none  of  Colonel  Grant's 
friends  appeared,  the  Fife  party  met  alone  and  nominated  a  dele- 
gate to  represent  them  .at  Cullen.  This  was  hardly  a  legal 
proceeding,  there  being  only  a  minority  of  the  Council  and  no 
Town-Clerk  present.     After  a  number  of  party  meetings,  Coun- 

4 


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50  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

cillor  Dick,  who  had  returned  from  Sutherlandshire,  was  brought 
over  to  the  Fife  interest,  and  with  Bailie  Innes  standing  neutral, 
the  Council  was  equally  divided.  The  Provost,  who  was  a  sup- 
porter of  the  Grant  interest,  had  both  a  deliberative  and  a  casting 
vote,  so  after  a  number  of  protests,  Mr  Farquharson  was  declared 
duly  elected  by  the  Chairman's  casting  vota.  Parliament  met  on 
the  21st  of  April,  and  Mr  Farquharson's  title  was  sustained. 

The  disgraceful  disturbances  associated  with  this  memorable 
election  could  easily  have  been  prevented  if  those  responsible  for 
the  peace  and  good  government  of  the  town  had  exercised  a  little 
more  firmness,  and  promptly  apprehended  the  ringleaders,  instead 
of  making  theatrical  displays  at  Graut  Lodge,  and  military 
masquerading  in  the  street.  In  connection  with  the  kidnapping 
of  the  Bailie  and  Councillor,  the  matter  was  reported  to  the  Lord 
Advocate,  and  the  transaction  was  looked  upon  as  highly  uncon- 
stitutional by  the  Government.  Four  of  Lord  Fife's  supporters 
from  Elgin  were  tried  at  the  Circuit  Court  of  Justiciary,  held  at 
Inverness  in  September,  1820,  on  a  charge  of  stellment,  or  man- 
stealing.  They  were  defended  by  Mr  John  Peter  Grant  of 
Kothiemurchus  ;  but  as  the  parties  stolen  did  not  take  the  matter 
very  seriously,  a  convenient  flaw  iu  the  indictment  was  discovered, 
and  the  trial  broke  down.  A  great  procession  went  out  to  meet 
the  accused  on  their  return  to  Elgin,  where  they  were  feasted  by 
Lord  Fife's  supporters.  At  the  annual  meeting  to  elect  a  new 
Council,  the  Fife  party  were  triumphant,  and  the  General  was,  on 
the  first  opportunity,  duly  elected  member  for  the  Elgin  burghs. 

So  ended  this,  the  last  struggle  under  the  old  system  of  self- 
government  which  gave  rise  to  one  of  the  most  remarkable  traits 
of  the  feudal  system  which  the  present  century  has  seen.  It 
would  be  difficult  to  approve  and  justify  the  policy  which 
instigated  this  remarkable  demonstration  on  the  part  of  the 
Strathspey  men,  but  one  cannot  help  cherishing  a  feeling  of 
admiration  at  the  courage,  loyalty,  and  chivalrous  love  which 
animated  the  breasts  of  those  true  and  warm-hearted  Highlanders. 
To  the  outward  eye,  however,  the  picturesque  appearance  that 
we  associate  with  the  rising  of  a  clan  was  almost  entirely  absent, 
as  very  few  of  the  men  wore  the  Highland  dress,  which  Duncha' 
Ban  nan  Oran  so  eloquently  describes  as  "  the  clothes  that  dis- 
play the  strife  of  colours  in  which  the  carmine  prevails."  There 
was,  consequently,  a  want  of  that  characteristic  distinction  which 
should  have  separated  the  Saxon  from  the  Gael.  The  Strathspey 
men  were,  as  a  rule,  dressed  in  coarse  home-made  tweed  or  hodden 
grey  cloth,  a  capital,  warm,  and  serviceable  dress,  but  in  no  way 


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Strathspey  Raid  to  Elgin.  51 

characteristic  of  the  Highlander  and  the  Highland  Clan.  Yet  the 
raid  of  Elgin  furnished  a  splendid  exhibition  of  the  loyalty  of  the 
Strathspey  men  to  the  House  of  Grant,  and  it  was  so  understood 
by  Royalty  itself.  On  the  occasion  of  George  the  Fourth's  visit 
to  Scotland  in  1822,  when  the  King  attended  the  ball  given  in  his 
honour  by  the  Peers  of  Scotland  in  Holyrood  Palace,  he  asked  one 
of  the  lords  in  waiting  to  point  out  the  lady  on  whose  account  so 
many  of  the  Strathspey  Highlanders  went  to  Elgin  two  years 
before.  Lady  Ann  being  pointed  out,  the  Monarch  emphatically 
remarked — "  Well,  truly,  she  is  an  object  fit  to  raise  the  chivalry 
of  any  clan,"  and  he  took  the  first  opportunity  of  raising  her  to 
the  peerage.  As  might  be  expected,  the  incidents  cf  the  "  Raid," 
the  kidnapping,  and  the  political  battle,  are  referred  to  in  the 
songs  and  poetry  of  the  period.  The  Lowland  muse  is  not  par- 
ticularly successful  in  "  waking  to  ecstacy  the  living  lyre,"  as  the 
following  samples  will  show  : — 

"  Success  to  all  Fife's  voters  now, 
And  to  them  wevwill  humbly  bow, 
And  gi'e  that  reverence  due  to  them 
Which  they  deserve  as  honest  men ; 
But  let  the  Grants  for  ever  stand 
A  haughty  but  a  shameless  band. 
They  brought  themselves  into  disgrace, 
I  trust  we'll  never  see  their  face." 

Electioneering  Song. 

"  Now  let  us  all  to  Elgin  hie 

Where  each  his  can  is  drinking, 
And  fill  the  bowl  to  noble  Fife 

While  Seafield's  cause  is  sinking. 
Success  to  Alexander  now, 

Each  honest  heart  is  cheering, 
The  dubious  kind  of  votes  to  bind, 
We'll  go  electioneering. 

"  See  Banff  in  all  her  native  grace 
Shakes  hands  with  Inverury ; 
While  rotten  Cullen  turns  her  back 

And  hides  her  face  of  fury. 
But  Elgin  sure  will  never  give 

Each  raving  prayer  a  hearing, 
But  votes  to  find  for  noble  Fife, 

They'll  go  electioneering." 


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52  Gaelic  Society  of  Inuerness 

Most  of  the  verses,  however,  are  mere  doggerel — 

"  Oh,  the  Grants  they  are  a  filthy  race, 
Have  brought  themselves  into  disgrace ; 
For  they  made  the  drums  and  pipes  to  play 
At  Grantown  on  the  Sabbath  day." 

The  following  is  rather  a  better  specimen,  and  styled  "  A  Patriotic 
Wish  for  the  Prosperity  of  Elgin  "  : — 

"  Oh  Elgin,  I  would  gladly  sing 
The  beauties  that  around  thee  spring  ; 
Thy  woods  and  groves  with  music  ring, 

And  rich  adorn ; 
While  smiling  seasons  plenty  bring 
Of  grass  and  corn. 

"  But  why,  oh  why,  do'st  thou  complain, 
In  such  a  loud  and  plaintive  strain, 
And  groan  beneath  a  load  of  pain, 

As  heaven  would  fa'  ? 
Why  nearly  fifty  years  they  ta'en 
My  rights  awa\ 

"  Ah,  waes  me  for't,  my  ain  good  toun, 
That's  reared  so  mony  a  canty  loon  ; 
Who  oft  has  trod  the  world  roun' 

With  honoured  name ; 
And  never  was  ashamed  to  own 

From  thee  he  came. 

"  But  what  a  fright  to  mony  a  mother, 
To  bee  so  mony  from  the  heather, 
Seven  hundred  of  them  a'  together, 

Come  frae  the  hill ; 
What  errand  brought  so  mony  hither 

Is  known  iu!  well. 

"  I  venerate  the  hardy  sons 
Bred  'mang  the  heather  and  the  whins, 
Who  gallantly  have  used  their  guns 

In  our  late  war  ; 
And  from  the  head  even  to  the  shins 

Bear  mony  a  scar. 


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Strathspey  Raid  to  Elgin.  53 

"  They  fought  and  bled  at  Waterloo, 
And  twined  fair  laurels  round  their  broo, 
The  brightest  plumes  that  ever  grew 

Their  heads  adorn ; 
Memorials  of  that  overthrow 

Shall  long  be  worn. 

"  But  gladly  these  returned  hame 
From  our  good  town  the  way  they  came  ; 
Their  leaders  gained  but  little  fame 

For  a'  their  toil, 
Ne'er  need  they  play  another  game 

On  CallanV  soil. 

"  Amid  the  darkness  of  the  night 
We  hailed  the  flambeau's  shining  light ; 
In  self-defence  we  stood  for  right 

Along  the  streets, 
Prepared  with  all  their  boasted  might 

Our  foes  to  meet. 

"  We  mustered  out  a  numerous  throng 
Of  rich  and  poor,  old  maids  and  young  ; 
The  streets  with  blended  voices  rung 

And  youthful  glee  ; 
Each  avenue  was  guarded  strong 

With  jealous  eye. 

"  With  weapons  of  the  rustic  kind, 
Supported  with  an  ardent  mind, 
Which  no  compulsive  power  can  bind, 

We  stood  our  ground, 
And  thankful  are  we  now  to  find 

All  safe  ana  sound." 

In  pleasing  contrast  to  the  common  place  sentiments  of  the  Low- 
land bards  on  the  raid,  take  the  following  Strathspey  song,  full  of 
Celtic  fire  and  fervour,  and  for  many  years  popular  round  the 
ceilidh  fire  in  that  district.  And  yet  there  are  indications  in  its 
quaint  transitions  and  Saxon  innovations  that  the  old  modes  of 
thought  and  speech  were  beginning  to  crumble  away  : — 


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54  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

"  Ye  Highland  lads,  sing  loud  huzzas, 
'•S  bidhibh  sugach,  greannar, 
Tha  onair  mhor  's  cliu  as  ur, 
Tigh'nn  air  an  teaghlach  Ghranntach  ; 
Craigellachie  will  shout  with  glee, 
Gus  am  freagair  cnuic  's  coilltean 
0  bidhibh  ait',  a  Ghaidheil  ghasda, 
Gacb  6igear  agus  maigbdean. 

"  For  now  a  toast  we  have  to  boast, 
Fhad's  dh'ara's  sruth  na  planntain — 
Gum  beil  Miss  Grannd  air  ardachd  rang 
'S  air  a  stilig  'nis  na  'Ban-Tighearn'. 
Oh  who  would  not  drink  out  this  toast, 
Cha'n'eil  iad  'n  so  air  am  planing* 
Nacb  deanadh  a  h-61  do  bhurn  an  loin  . 
Air  slainte  an  6g  oigh  Ghranntach. 

"  It's  well  our  part  to  join  one  heart, 
Gu  cliu  a  chuir  an  c&ll  dhuibh 
Oir  'sea  ruin  a  tighinn  car  uine 
A  thamh  ;measg  luchd  na  feile. 
The  lads  so  clean,  with  tartans  green, 
'S  ann  asda  dh'earbs'  i'n  cairdeas ; 
0  b'e  a  run  'bhi  'tarruing  dluth 
'Nuair  bhiodh  na  Goill  ga  'sarachd. 

"  Wben  the  Chief  of  Grant  abroad  did  rant, 
Bha  feum  air  gaisgich  Ghaidhealach 
Gu  dhol  air  ball  air  feadh  nan  Gall 
'Chumail  ceart  nam  meirlich  ; 
With  bonnets  blue  and  hearts  so  true, 
Kinn  iadsan  Eilginn  'sguabadh 
'S  na  Goill  gu  dluth  ruith  anns  gach  cuil 
Gun  toil,  gun  surd  gu  bualadh. 

"  The  river  Spey  will  sooner  dry, 
TV  fhurasd'  Carngorrn  a  thionndadh, 
Na  ittdsan  buaidh  thoirt  air  an  t-sluagh 
T3i?i       1 1. is  an  glac  nam  beanntann. 
Now  hero,  adieu,  Miss  Grant,  to  you 
Po  dlioagh  dheoch  slainte  'sa  'Ghailig, 
'S  mu  bhios  feum  air  daoin'  Strathspe 
Cba  threig  iad  thu  's  cha'n  fhailluing. 


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Strathspey  Raid  to  Elgin.  55 

"  And  Col.  Grant  we'll  not  forget, 
Tha  'nis  aig'  onair  dhubailt, 
'S  lion  an  aird'  mo  ghloin'  gu  barr, 
'S  olaidh  mi  dha  ciipan ; 
Long  may  he  man  the  Highland  Clan* 
Le  onair,  aighear,  's  aillteachd, 
Is  bidh  ainm  air  luaidh  le  cliu  's  buaidh 
Air  machair  's  air  Gaelteachd. 

"  When  times  began  to  take  a  turn 
'S  dar  bha  sinn  air  ar  sarachd. 
Chuir  e  gu  deis  thun  'n-taobh-deas 
A*  cheannach  bidh  gu  ar  n'  arach  ; 
Both  corn  and  meal  he  did  retail 
Do  na  h-uile  bha  na  'n  eiginn, 
'S  e  is  barail  leinn  gun  chapmhainn  e  roinn 
Bho  basach'd  air  na  sleibhtean. 

"  When  meal  was  dear  and  far  from  here 
'S  an  t-airgiod  bhi  gle  ghann  duinn, 
'S  nach  robh  siol  cur  an  taoibh-s'  do'n  mhuir 
A  rachadh  'chur  's  na  beanntan  : 
And  when  with  frost  our  crop  was  lost 
Bha  sgread  ro  chruaidh  's  a'  Ghaelteachd 
Le  cridh'  blath  thug  es'  gun  dail 
Mhan  beagan  de  nam  mail  dhuinn. 

u  Who  would  not  then  all  join  as  one 
'Thoirt  cliu  dha  'n  Choirnal  bheusach, 
'S  bidh  chreag  ud  shuas  'cur  fuaim  a  nuas 
'S  bidh  Carngorm  ag  eisdeachd ; 
The  forests  round  will  hear  the  sound 
S*  ni  iad  fuam  'bhios  fuasach, 
;S  thig  Ne'ich  mhan  na  tonnan  ban 
'S  i  'g  eigheachd  ri  Spe  'bhi  'gluasad. 

"  Let  mirth  abound  and  health  go  round, 
Deoch  slainte  do  Chaiptein  Grannda, 
S'  e  'chuir  air  luaidh  air  moch  Dilua^n, 
'S  e  mach  air  leathad  nan  beanntan  ; 
By  four  o'clock  he  made  a  smoke 
'S  bha  biadh  an  sin  'san  am  sin, 
Bha  mac  na  brach'  an  sin  ga'r  baisd' 
Le  aighear  's  ce61  's  dannsa. 


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56  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

"  I  don't  incline  the  rest  to  name, 
De  uailsean  ghasd'  Shrath-Spe  dhuibh, 
Cha  'n  urrainn  mi  an  Innseadh  le  biigh 
Na  'n  cliu  a  chur  an  ceill  dhuibh  ; 
But- they  are  true  and  hardy  too, 
Is  gaisgich  iad  an  elginn ; 
'S  iad  'churaadh  ceann  ri  clann  nam  beann 
Is  Granntaich  na'in  bidh  feum  orra. 

"  High  are  their  bens  and  deep  their  glens, 
Tha  slainte  ri  fhaighinn  annta, 
0  '8  e  's  mo  ruin  air  maduinn  chiuin 
An  siubhal  air  latha  samhraidh ; 
They're  full  of  joy,  no  cares  annoy, 
Tha  feidh  's  laoigh  moran, 
'N  coileach  dubh  's  a'  chearc  gu-gu 
'S  a'  mhadainn  binn  ag  6ran. 

'  By  crystal  springs  the  cuckoo  sings 
0  's  ait'  learn  bhi  ga  h-eisdeachd, 
'S  an  smeorach  bhinn  ri  ceoil  do  'linn 
A'  measg  nam  preas  's  nan  geugan ; 
By  rising  sun  through  every  den 
Bidh  'n  tunnag  fhiadhaich  's  a  h-al  ann ; 
0  '8  e  mo  ruin  gus  an  duin  mo  shuil 
Bhi'  seinn  air  chu  na  Gaelteachd." 


2nd  APRIL,  1896. 

At  the  meeting  this  evening  the  Secretary  read  a  paper 
contributed  by  Mr  L.  Macbean,  Kirkcaldy,  entitled  "  The  Mission 
of  the  Celt."     The  paper  was  as  follows  : — 

THE  MISSION  OF  THE  CELT.  ' 

I.— THE  GAELIC  RENAISSANCE. 

The  revival  of  interest  and  activity  in  Gaelic  life  has  now 
reached  a  point  when  it  is  time  to  review  our  position,  and,  if 
possible,  form  some  intelligent  idea  of  our  mission  and  destiny  as 
a  people.  The  race  is  becoming  conscious  of  itself,  and  feeling  its 
unity  as  never  before,  and  the  moment  is  therefore  opportune  to 


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The  Mission  of  the  Celt  57 

reflect  intelligently  on  its  place  in  the  world,  its  power,  and 
its  future.  In  considering  so  wide  a  subject,  we  must  first 
enquire  what  are  the  tendencies  of  the  currents  around  us. 
The  most  potent  fact  here  is  the  tide  in  the  affairs  of  the  Gael 
which  has  flowed  with  increasing  strength  and  volume  through 
the  present  century — a  revival  of  life  and  interest  which  is  at 
once  a  sign  and  a  cause  of  the  brighter  era  which  is  dawning  upon 
our  people.  It  will  be  interesting  to  examine  the  nature  and 
origin  and  aims  and  methods  and  achievements  of  this  revival. 
It  is,  broadly  speaking,  an  outburst  of  race  feeling  shown  in  love 
of  coantry,  and  people,  and  language,  and  music,  and  traditions — 
not  an  unprecedented  phenomenon  in  the  history  of  the  world. 
It  may  be  compared  with  the  Slavonic  dreams  of  a  united  race 
that  adds  a  tinge  of  romance  to  the  politics  of  Russia  and  the 
Turkish  principalities,  or  to  the  Greek  revival,  which  led  to  the 
resurrection  of  Greece ,  or  even  to  .the  old  Hebrew  patriotism  so 
vividly  pourtrayed  in  our  Bibles.  In  all  these  instances  the  race 
feeling  has  been  allied  with  politics  or  religion — in  our  case  it  is 
almost  entirely  literary  or  social ;  and  yet,  in  the  case  of  Gael,  and 
Greek,  and  Jew,  and  Slav,  the  great  object  in  view  is  the  welfare 
of  the  lace  and  the  triumph  of  its  genius.  Now,  this  triumph  is 
of  the  utmost  value  to  the  world,  as  well  as  matter  of  natural 
satisfaction  to  the  race  immediately  concerned  ;  for  it  is  to  this 
that  we  owe  the  splendid  contributions  made  by  Hebrew,  Greek, 
aud  Roman  to  the  life  of  mankind.  Every  race  must  add  its  own 
endowment  to  the  common  heritage  of  man,  and  the  Celt  must 
take  care  that  the  Celtic  contribution  is  not,  through  cowardice 
or  ignorance,  withheld. 

(1) — Gaelic  Language.. 

The  first  feeble  symptoms  of  new  life  were  sh^wn  in  connection 
with  the  Gaelic  language.  The  Gael  suddenly  awoke  to  the 
alarming  fact  that  his  native  tongue,  which  more  than  anything 
else  was  the  distinguishing  mark  of  his  tribe,  was  dying  out  before 
the  tongue  of  the  Southron.  The  thought  touched  his  sensitive 
and  melancholy  nature  as  nothing  else  could. 

"  'Tis  fading,  oh  'tis  fading,  like  leaves  upon  the  trees, 

In  murmuring:  tone  'tis  dying  like  the  wail  upon  the  breeze, 
'Tis  slowly,  surely  sinking  into,  silent  death  at  last, 
To  live  but  in  the  memory  of  those  who  love  the  past." 

People  never  know  how  much  they  value  a  thing  until  they  are 
threatened  with  its  loss,  and  so  the  thought  of  the  approaching 


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58  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

death  of  the  dear  old  language  aroused  the  Gael  to  some  appreci- 
ation of  its  beauties,  and  to  the  discovery  that  it  could  throw 
valuable  light,  not  only  on  his  own  past,  but  on  the  history  of  the 
other  races  of  Europe.  In  this  connection  it  may  be  noted  that 
the  first  beginnings  of  the  Gaelic  revival  were  peculiarly  Celtic 
and  extreme.  Not  only  was  a  fabulous  antiquity  ascribed  to  the 
language,  but  a  close  relationship  was  claimed  with  other  vener- 
able tongues  where  no  such  relationship  exists.  We  have  lived 
to  outgrow  these  early  follies,  and  our  enthusiasm  for  the  old 
language  is  tempered  by  some  degree  of  knowledge  regarding  its 
history,  and  changes,  and  real -pi  ace  in  the  family  of  languages. 

(2) — The  Preservation  op  Gaelic. 

One  of  the  aims  of  the  Gaelic  revival  waft,  and  to  some  extent 
is  still,  to  perpetuate  Gaelic  as  a  spoken  language.  The  reasons 
adduced  for  its  preservation  are — (1)  Its  interesting  history  as  the 
language  of  Ossianic  poets,  early  Scottish  kings,  and  the  native 
Christian  Church ;  (2)  its  unique,  though  limited,  literary 
treasures ;  (3)  its  advantages  as  the  language  alike  of  song  and 
religion ;  (4)  its  value  as  a  bond  of  race,  which  is  so  necessary 
that,  if  it  did  not  exist,  we  should  have  to  invent  it.  The  methods 
employed  to  perpetuate  the  use  of  Gaelic  as  a  spoken  language  are 
societies,  concerts,  books,  magazines  and  newspapers,  and  teaching 
in  schools.  Among  the  societies  that  have  done  excellent  work 
are  the  Gaelic  Society  of  London,  established  in  1777,  and  still 
alive  ;  the  Highland  Society  of  London  ;  the  Highland  Society  of 
Scotland,  to  which  we  owe  the  great  Gaelic  dictionary ;  the  Gaelic 
Society  of  Inverness,  the  Gaelic  Society  of  Glasgow,  the  Gaelic 
Society  of  Perth,  the  Gaelic  Society  of  Toronto,  and  similar 
societies  in  Aberdeen,  Greenock,  snd  elsewhere.  At  none  of  these 
societies  is  Gaelic  commonly  spoken,  which  may  be  taken  as  a  sign 
that  they  do  not  consider  the  preservation  of  Gaelic  essential. 
The  concerts  at  which  Gaelic  songs  are  sung  are  generally  well 
attended,  and  Gaelic  vocalists  are  perhaps  as  popular  as  were  the 
old  bards  and  harpers  in  other  days.  Perhaps  the  day  will  come 
when  we  shall  have  a  Gaelic  drama.  Schiller's  "  Wilhelm 
Tell"  has  already  been  translated  into  Gaelic,  but  I  hope 
our  first  drama  publicly  performed  will  be  Gaelic  in  subject 
as  well  as  in  language.  Coming  next  to  publications,  it  is 
gratifying  to  note  that  quite 'a  number  of  Gaelic  grammars  and 
lesson  books  have  been  published  ;  and,  as  many  of  them  have 
had  a  very  large  sale,  it  is  evident  that  there  are  to-day  more 
readers  of  Gaelic  than  at  any  previous  time  in  our  history.     The 


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The  Mission  of  the  Celt  59 

magazines  that  have  aided  most  in  the  enriching  and  perpetuation 
of  Gaelic  have  been — "An  Teachdaire  Gaidhealach,"  "Cuairtear  nan 
Gleann,"  "  Fear  Tathach  nan  Gleann,"  "  An  Gaidheal,"  "  Bratach 
na  Flrinn,"  and  the  Gaelic  Records  of  the  Churches.  Our  most 
recent  monthlies,  such  as  the  Celtic  Magazine,  the  Highland 
Monthly,  and  the  very  excellent  periodical  published  in  Glasgow 
— the  Celtic  Monthly,  havs  been  chiefly  printed  in  English,  but 
they  have  contained  Gaelic  songs  and  articles;  and  Gaelic  columns 
have  also  been  given  in  many  of  our  northern  newspapers,  such  as 
the  Highlander,  the  Scottish  Highlander,  the  Northern  Chronicle, 
and  the  Oban  Times.  All  these  supply  sufficient  evidence  of  the 
reality  of  the  Gaelic  revival,  and  an  agency  even  more  important 
for  the  purpose  in  view  has  been  the  teaching  of  Gaelic  in  High 
land  Schools.  But  here  also  much  more  successful  work  might  be 
done  if  rich  Gaels  and  rich  societies  were  to  offer  substantial 
prizes  and  bursaries  to  the  best  Gaelic  scholars,  or  grants  to  the 
most  successful  Gaelic  teachers.  We  may  even  go  further  and 
say  that  society  meetings  and  concerts,  the  publication  of  books 
and  magazines,  and  the  teaching  of  Gaelic  in  schools,  do  not 
exhaust  the  resources  of  civilisation  that  can  be  used  to  prolong 
the  life  and  increase  the  usefulness  of  Gaelic.  It  will  uo  an 
immense  amount  of  good,  not  only  for  this  purpose,  but  for  the  . 
intellectual  progress  of  our  people,  if  we  can  have  Gaelic  lecture- 
ships throughout  the  Highlands.  I  would  fain  desire  that  lectures 
in  Gaelic  on  social  or  scientific  subjects  should  be  delivered  in 
every  parish ;  and,  if  discussion  in  the  same  language  were 
allowed  after  each  lecture,  it  might  lead  to  a  Gaelic  debating 
society  being  established  in  many  a  Highland  glen,  to  the  great 
gain  of  the  inhabitants  :  and  perhaps  the  way  would  thus  be 
prepared  for  the  business  of  our  Highland  parish  councils  being 
conducted  in  the  language  of  the  people. 

In  the  meantime,  discouraged  Highlanders  should  remember 
that  the  Gaelic  language,  at  one  time  spoken  only  by  a  small 
tribe  in  the  Western  Highlands,  has  lived  to  crush  out  the  Pictish 
tongue  in  the  east  of  Scotland,  the  Welsh  in  Strathclyde,  and  the 
Norse  in  the  Western  Isles  ;  and  that  it  is  to-day  spoken  over  a 
wider  area,  and  by  a  far  more  numerous  people,  than  in  the  days 
of  Cuchullin  or  Columba. 

(3) — Philology. 

The  second  aim  of  the  Gaelic  revival  has  been  the  scientific 
study  of  the  vocabularies  and  grammar  of  the  old  language.  For 
a  long  time,  indeed,  Celtic  philology,  like  many  other  goods, 
might  be  labelled  "  manufactured  in  Germany,"  for  its  first  and 

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60  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness* 

most  successful  exponents  were  large-minded  Teutons  like  Zeuss. 
But  their  labours  have  been  continued  with  interesting  results  by 
able  Highland  scholars. 

(4). — Literature. 

In  the  department  of  literature,  the  revival  of  interest  has 
been  very  fruitful.  The  antiquarian  stores  of  Gaelic  have  been 
ransacked,  and  the  tales  of  the  senachies  have  been  collected  ;  the 
songs  that  lived  only  on  the  tongue  of  the  Highland  maid  have 
been  solidified  in  cold  type,  and  our  strange,  stunted  growths  of 
medical  and  botanical  and  zoological  science  have  been  carefully 
preserved.  Among  the  most  important  books  given  us  by  the 
Celtic  revival  in  Scotland  are  Skene's  "Celtic  Scotland,"  the 
printing  of  the  "  Book  of  the  Dean  of  Lismore,"  MacLauchlan's 
"  Celtic  Gleanings "  and  "  Early  Scottish  Church,"  Campbell's 
"  Leabhar  na  Feinne,"  and  his  "West  Highland  Tales,"  John  Mac- 
kenzie's "  Beauties  of  Gaelic  Bards,"  Pattison's  "  Translations  of 
Gaelic  Poetry,"  Blackie's  "  Language  and  Literature  of  the  Scot- 
tish Highlands,"  Macneill's  "  Literature  of  the  Highlands," 
Sinclair's  "  Oranaiche,"  Henry  Whyte's  "  Celtic  Garland,"  Malcolm 
Macfarlane's  "  Phonetics  of  Gaelic,"  Mackenzie's  "  Eachdraidh  na 
h-Alba,"  the  collection  of  hymns  edited  by  John  Whyte,  Camerons' 
t;  Reliquiae  Celticee,"  Alexander  Mackenzie's  Clan  Histories,  various 
books  on  music  and  place-names,  and  several  volumes  of  poetry  by 
talented  Gaelic  bards  who  are  still  living.  We  have  some  reason 
to  be  proud  of  the  men  who  have  stood  foremosc  in  the  literature 
of  the  Gaelic  revival.  In  history  we  have  had  Skene,  Mac- 
Lauchlan,  Keltie,  Brown,  Macneill,  and  Mackenzie ;  in  poetry — 
Maccoll,  Campbell  of  Ledaig,  Maccallum,  Mrs  Macpherson,  and 
Mrs  Mackellar ;  in  music,  collectors  like  Charles  Stewart  and 
Henry  Whyte  ;  in  lexicography — Macleod  and  Dewar,  Macalpine, 
Cameron,  and  Alexander  Macbain;  in  grammar — Stewart  and 
Forbes,  Munro  and  Macpherson ;  in  folk-lore,  collectors  like  J.  F. 
Campbell,  Hector  Maclean,  and  A.  A,  Carmicbael ;  and  in  editorial 
work,  men  like  Norman  Macleod,  Dr  Clerk,  A.  M.  Sinclair, 
Fraser-Mackintosh,  Dr  MacLauchlan,  and  John  Whyte  ;  and  in 
natural  history,  the  Rev.  Dr  Stewart,  Nether  Lochaber.  The 
revival  has  led  to  great  activity  in  translation.  A  large  number 
of  English  books,  chiefly  religious,  have  been  translated  into 
Gaelic  ;  and  there  have  been  numerous  translations  from  Gaelic, 
chiefly  poetry  and  fairy  tales.  In  view  of  all  this  literary  activity, 
it  will  be  necessary  for  us  to  have  a  complete  dictionary  of  Gaelic 
works,  or  perhaps  an  edition  of  Reid's  "  Bibliotheca  Scoto-Celtica" 
brought  up  to  date. 


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(5) — Music. 

Music  is  the  only  fine  art  in  which  the  Gaelic  revival  has  been 
felt.  Our  forefathers  originated  the  Celtic  cross,  the  mysteries  of 
Celtic  ornamentation,  the  marvellous  beauties  of  illuminated 
initials,  and  even  the  audacious  design  of  the  tartan  ;  but  our 
environment  in  a  barren  country  prevented  us  from  making  any 
progress  in  painting  or  sculpture.  But  in  music  the  renewed 
energy  of  our  people  has  already  shown  itself  in  the  collection  and 
printing  of  the  fine  old  melodies  bequeathed  to  us  by  a  more 
gifted  ancestry ;  and  we  may  expect  that  before  the  Gaelic 
revival  has  quite  spent  itself,  we  shall  have  a  national  style  of 
harmony  in  keeping  with  those  splendid  old  tunes,  and  who  knows 
but  some  talented  Highlander  will  yet  give  us  a  Gaelic  opera  or  a 
Gaelic  oratorio. 

(6) — Highland  Customs. 

The  Gaelic  revival  has  also  been  felt  in  the  observation  of  old 
customs.  Old  Highland  sports  and  the  old  Highland  garb  are 
preserved  by  the  numerous  Highland  athletic  gatherings  that  are 
held  all  over  the  country,  and,  although  this  is  not  very  important, 
it  shows  how  the  tide  is  flowing. 

(7) — Material  Progress. 

But  there  is  another  department  of  life  in  which  the  re- 
in vigoration  of  the  national  spirit  has  shown  itself  to  some 
purpose — I  mean  the  sphere  of  social  and  material  progress.  In 
our  day  there  is  a  growing  determination  that  our  countrymen 
-who  remain  at  home  in  the  Highlands — and  especially  the  poorer 
classes  among  them — shall  have  at  least  fairplay.  For  the  first 
time  since  the  days  of  Prince  Charlie,  Gaelic  has  been  used  as  an 
effective  instrument  of  politics,  and  this  use  of  the  language  of  the 
people  is  a  sign  of  a  wish  to  respect  their  feelings.  Of  course,  we 
know  that  the  Highlands  are  too  poor  and  barren  to  maintain  all 
our  people  in  comfort,  but  in  each  of  our  large  cities  a  new 
Gaeldom  is  rising  up,  and  the  Gaelic  revival  has  shown  itself 
there  in  the  form  of  clan  societies  for  mutual  aid  and  for  the 
support  of  poorer  countrymen. 

II.— FUTURE  OF  THE  GAEL. 

Having  now  glanced  over  this  heaving  tide  of  new  Celtic  life 
which  has  overflowed  the  fields  of  literature,  music,  customs,  and 
social  progress,  it  remains  for  us  to  ask,  What  of  the  future  ? 


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62  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness 

The  Gael  are  awakening  to  consciousness,  and  as  a  man  when  he 
becomes  conscious,  first  asks,  What  am  I  ?  Whence  am  I  ? 
What  am  I  here  for  ?  So  the  Gael  must  ask,  What  are  we  % 
What  are  our  capabilities  ?     What  is  our  destiny  ? 

Cbltophils  and  Cbltomaniacs. 

For  more  than  a  century  there  have  been  two  views  regarding 
the  future  of  the  Gaelic-speaking  Highlander — the  one  held  by 
supercilious  Englishmen  and  echoed  by  feeble  Highlanders,  the 
other  held  by  a  small  but  patriotic  set  of  Highlanders.  The  first 
view  is  that  the  Celt,  as  a  Celt,  is  a  relic  of  barbarism,  a  nuisance 
in  the  way  of  civilisation  that  must  be  speedily  swept  out  of  the 
way,  with  the  exception  that  Celts  who  can  transform  themselves 
into  imitations  of  Englishmen,  be  allowed  to  live  on  in  sub- 
ordinate positions  suitable  to  their  capabilities.  There  has  really 
been  a  great  deal  of  seeming  reason  for  this  view.  The  Celtic 
race  in  these  Islands,  not  only  in  Scotland,  but  in  England  and 
Ireland,  has  apparently  been  driven  westwards  to  the  uttermost 
borders  of  the  land,  and  even  in  those  remote  coasts  the  rising 
tide  of  Saxon  civilisation  has  threatened  to  overtake  and  sub- 
merge them.  The  second  view  of  the  position  and  duty  of  the 
Gael  has  been  that  of  the  few  patriots  who  protested  against  the 
invasion  of  the  English  tongue  and  English  ideas,  and  declared 
that  extinction  was  preferable  to  submission. 

Both  Wrong. 

We  have  now  arrived  at  a  point  whence  we  can  see  that  both 
views  have  been  wrong.  The  Highlander  is  really  in  a  better 
position  than  either  the  one  party  or  the  other  dreamed  of.  Our 
fate  as  a  race  is  neither  to  die  out  nor  to  be  Anglicised.  On  the 
contrary,  it  is  important  even  for  the  future  of  Saxon  civilisation 
that  certain  qualities  of  the  Celtic  nature  should  be  preserved. 

Our  Contribution  to  Saxon  Civilisation. 

The  time  has  come  when  the  Gaelic  race  must  give  its  own 
contribution  to  the  progress  of  humanity.  We  cannot  give 
religious  insight  like  the  Hebrew,  nor  the  perception  of  beauty 
like  the  Greek,  nor  civic  law  like  the  Roman,  nor  the  fruits  of 
plodding  industry  like  the  Teuton.  But  it  happens  that  the  Gael 
has  the  very  qualities  in  which  the  Saxon  is  most  deficient.  It  is 
ideality,  it  is  sentiment,  it  is  enthusiasm,  it  is  elan,  it  is 
strenuousness,  it  is  intensity,  it  is  imagination,  delicacy  of  fancy, 


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humour,  love  of  colour,  love  of  nature.  It  is,  in  a  word,  all  that 
is  spirituelle  and  opposed  to  the  sordid  and  the  worldly.  These 
are  the  very  qualities  which  the  Teutonic  race  and  modern 
utilitarian  civilisation  lack  most,  and  the  mission  of  the  Celt  is  to 
supply  them. 

A  Caveat. 

Now,  no  Scottish  Highlander  could  advance  such  a  claim 
before  a  Gaelic  audience  on  behalf  of  the  Gaelic  race  but  for  two 
things.  The  first  is — That  so  far  from  being  a  Celtic  invention 
this  view  has  been  first  broached  and  supported  by  English 
writers  of  the  highest  rank,  like  Henry  Morley  and  Matthew 
Arnold.  The  second  is — That  the  claim  is  a  general  one,  and 
does  not  affect  any  individual  Gael.  Every  Highlander  does  not 
possess  the  Gaelic  temperament ;  nor,  on  the  other  hand,  must 
we  imagine  that  every  true  Englishman  is  dull  and  unimagi- 
native. The  Gaelic  temperament  is  often  found  in  sunny 
England,  and  still  oftener  in  Lowland  Scotland ;  while  a  stolidity 
that  might  do  credit  to  any  phlegmatic  Teuton  may  be  found  to 
the  north  of  the  Grampians.  The  fact  is  that  we  British  are  a 
mixed  people,  and  there  is  in  these  islands  no  such  thing  as 
purity  of  race.  The  blood  of  Dane,  and  Pict,  and  Briton,  is 
probably  mixed  with  the  Gaelic  current  in  your  veins  and  mine. 
There  are  Teutons  in  Caithness  and  Celts  in  Yorkshire.  But  still 
we  must  hold  to  the  broad  facts.  The  German  or  the  Dutchman 
— dull,  heavy,  disciplined,  slow,  is  a  very  different  being  from  the 
Scottish  Gael,  with  his  verve  and  dash  and  alert  mind.  And  the 
Englishman,  while  situated  between  these  two  extremes,  has  in 
him  more  of  the  German  than  of  the  Celt.  Of  course  an  educated 
Englishman  is  smarter  than  an  ignorant  Highlander ;  but  taking 
both  races  on  the  lowest  level,  I  think  a  lecturer  or  vocalist  would 
be  more  likely  to  find  an  intelligent  and  responsive  audience 
among  the  crofters  of  a  Highland  clachan  than  among  the  heavy, 
clod-hopping,  honest  hinds  of  an  English  rural  district.  The 
truth  is  that  the  Gael  (like  all  Celts)  is  nervous,  sensitive  to  the 
influences  from  the  unseen,  much  impressed  by  the  awful  fact  of 
death  (as  anyone  familiar  with  our  Highland  peasantry  can  tell), 
keenly  sensitive  to  the  lash  of  conscience.  He  is  by  nature  an 
idealist  and  enthusiast,  and  the  peculiar  note  of  his  high-strung 
temperament  is  heard  more  or  less  clearly  all  through  his  history, 
his  literature,  his  proverbs,  his  tales,  and  his  music. 


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64  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness 

Growing  Celticism  op  Britain. 
(1) — Celtic  Influence. 

This  short  disquisition  on  the  Gaelic  temperament  has  prepared 
the  way  for  the  proposition  I  am  now  to  lay  down.  It  is  a 
remarkable  thing  that  while  there  has  been  a  revival  of  race 
feeling  in  Gaeldom  there  has  been  in  English  literature  a  recognised 
growth  of  Celtic  influence.  As  an  English  litterateur  has  lately 
suggested,  the  Celtic  fringe,  the  wreckage  and  relics  of  Celticism, 
driven  to  the  borders  of  the  land  before  the  tide  of  Saxon  aggres- 
sion, have  been  resurging  back  upon  that  dark  tide  in  the  form  of 
a  certain  foam  and  tinge  of  thought  and  sentiment.  It  has  not 
been  generally  observed  that  Scottish  literature  has  long  been 
growing  more  and  more  Celtic  in  character.  To  see  this  quite 
clearly  you  have  only  to  compare  the  Anglo-Saxon  poetry  of  old 
writers  like  Dunbar,  Henryson,  and  Douglas  with  the  thorough 
Celticism  of  Ferguson,  Burns,  and  Scott,  as  shown  in  their  love  of 
nature  and  colour,  their  brilliance  of  imagination,  and  their 
frequent  use  of  Gaelic  words  and  fondness  for  Celtic  ideals  of  love 
and  valour.  This  Celticism,  which  has  long  and  increasingly 
pervaded  the  literature  of  Scotland,  is  now  being  felt  in  the  more 
imperial  literature  of  England.  This  is  not  fully  accounted  for 
by  the  fact  that  Celtic  poets  like  Thomas  Campbell,  Charles 
Mackay,  Eric  Mackay,  George  Macdonald,  and  William  Allan 
have  left  their  mark  on  English  verse,  or  that  novelists  like 
Robert  Buchanan,  William  Black,  and  Ian  Maclaren  have  intro- 
duced the  Highland  spirit  into  English  fiction,  for  in  every 
department  of  literature  there  is  a  new  vivacity  and  earnestness 
and  delicacy  which  seem  echoes  of  Celtic  thought,  and  which  at 
any  rate  are  not  Teutonic.  The  same  remark  applies  to  the  field 
of  music.  It  is  not  only  that  we  now  find  among  eminent 
composers  Gaels  like  A.  C.  Mackenzie  and  Hamish  MacCunn, 
but  that  the  musical  ideals  of  England  are  being  illuminated  by  a 
Celtic  spirit.  In  the  political  world  it  is  a  matter  of  common 
remark  that  nearly  all  our  Parliamentary  leaders  and  nearly  all 
our  Colonial  governors  are  Scotsmen  with  a  large  share  of  Celtic 
blood  in  their  veins,  but  it  is  more  to  my  present  purpose  that 
Celtic  ideals  of  freedom,  and  Celtic  sentiments  of  humanity  and 
lofty  principle  are  making  themselves  felt  in  the  seat  of  power. 
In  religion  we  have  the  same  phenomenon.  Good  Celts  like 
Livingstone  and  General  Gordon  and  Mackay  of  Uganda  and 
Moffat  have  carried  the  Highland  ideal  of  religion  to  the  ends  of 
the  earth ;  but,  what  is  more  important,  the  religious  world  is 


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The  Mission  of  the  Celt  65 

becoming  imbued  with  new  ideals  of  true  humanity,  which  is  true 
divinity.  But  while  thus  becoming  more  tender,  religion  is 
becoming  more  honest.  Having  learned  in  solitude  to  measure 
somewhat  of  the  realities  of  the  moral  world,  the  Gael  judges 
himself  severely,  and  the  idea  of  accepting  lightly  Divine  forgive- 
ness is  abhorrent  to  his  nature.  That  is  why  ultra-evangelical 
religion  (no  less  than  ritualistic  religion)  has  never  obtained  a 
footing  among  the  Gaelic  people,  and  I  do  believe  that  this  Celtic 
feeling  after  reality  is  becoming  more  general  in  religion.  I  need 
not  go  over  other  departments  of  life.  Our  army  has,  of  course, 
been  long  permeated  by  the  peculiar  Celtic  gallantry,  and  this 
quality  is  to-day  as  strongly  marked  as  ever.  In  short,  we  must 
admit  that  what  Mr  Grant  Allen  and  others  say  is  true — that 
modern  British  life  is  becoming  Celticised.  The  Celtic  popula- 
tion had  to  recede  before  the  aggressive  Saxon,  but  the  Celtic 
spirit  conquers  in  the  end. 

(2) — Celtic  Population. 

This  remark  about  the  population  brings  me  to  my  third 
point.  We  have  seen  that  of  late  there  have  been  side  by  side  a 
conscious  revival  of  Celtic  feeling  in  the  North,  and  an  uncon- 
scious growth  of  Celticism  in  the  higher  manifestations  of  English 
life.  But  we  have  now  to  see  that  these  developments  are  not 
accidental  things,  not  the  carrying  out  of  any  human  purpose, 
but  products  of  the  spirit  and  tendency  of  the  age.  For  even 
our  population  is  becoming  more  Celtic.  There  is  a  resurgence 
and  reflux  of  Celtic  blood,  as  well  as  of  Celtic  spirit.  I  have  long 
suspected  this  in  regard  to  many  of  our  large  towns,  and  in 
writing  this  paper  T  had  the  curiosity  to  put  the  matter  to  the 
test  by  comparing  the  Highland  names  in  current  directories 
with  those  of  twenty  years  ago.  In  every  case  the  surnames  of 
Northern  origin  have  increased  enormously  as  compared  with  the 
rest  of  the  population.  No  doubt  there  are  sound  natural 
explanations  of  such  changes.  For  one  thing  our  vastly  increased 
facilities  for  travel  must  lead  to  more  movement  and  mixing  of 
the  population,  and  for  another  there  is  a  continual  flow  of  the 
population  from  the  country  to  the  towns.  But  those  things  only 
confirm  the  statement  that  the  population,  especially  in  the 
larger  centres  of  civilisation,  is  becoming  more  Celtic — the  result 
of  Highland  transmigration  in  Scotland,  and  of  an  infusion  of 
Scottish,  Irish,  and  Welsh  Celts  in  the  English  towns.  That 
statement,  I  think,  may  be  taken  as  fact.     The  truth  is  that  city 

5 


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66  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness 

life  is  so  enfeebling  that  few  families  are  able  to  stand  it  for  more 
than  two  generations.  The  population  of  our  British  cities  has 
to  be  constantly  recruited,  and  our  own  Highland  glens  furnish 
excellent  material  for  the  purpose.  The  Royal  Commission  on 
the  crofter  question  reported — "The  crofter  and  cottar  popu- 
lation of  the  Highlands,  small  though  it  be,  ^s  a  nursery  of  good 
workers  and  citizens  for  the  whole  empire.  In  this  respect  the 
stock  is  exceptionally  valuable.  By  sound  physical  constitution, 
native  intelligence,  and  good  moral  training,  it  is  particularly 
fitted  to  recruit  the  people  of  our  industrial  centres."  That 
deliverance  by  a  Royal  Commission  more  than  bears  out  the 
truth  of  my  contention,  and  although  1  do  not  like  to  make  too 
much  of  the  stress  laid  by  the  Commission  on  the  physical, 
mental,  and  moral  value  of  the  Gaelic  stock,  any  one  will  see 
from  the  census  returns  that  in  Sutherland,  Ross,  and  other 
Highland  counties,  you  have  the  highest  longevity  of  all  Scotland. 
The  Registrar's  returns  show  that  these  counties  are  far  above  the 
average  in  morality,  at  least  in  one  department,  while  the 
ordinary  criminal  calendar  is  equally  satisfactory  in  regard  to 
other  departments. 

Mission  op  the  Celt. 

Well,  now,  we  have  looked  at  these  three  currents  of  our 
times — the  rising  tide  of  Celtic  revival  among  ourselves,  the  flow 
of  Celtic  sentiment  and  ideas  in  English  life  and  literature,  and 
the  stream  of  Celtic  blood  into  city  life — and  we  should  now  be 
in  a  position  to  guess  what  is  the  mission  and  destiny  of  the  Celt. 
It  is  surely  by  infusion  of  ideas  and  transfusion  of  blood  to  leaven 
modern  civilisation  with  its  own  awakening  spirit.  It  is  to  touch 
to  higher  issues  and  transform  by  nobler  sentiments  the  results 
of  art  and  science  and  culture  as  these  have  been  evolved  by  the 
sturdy  Anglo-Saxon  race.  That  seems  a  high  enough  mission  for 
any  people.  And  yet,  I  daresay,  we  may  all  feel  inclined  to  say — 
It  is  a  good  and  worthy  task ;  but,  in  the  meantime,  what  of  our 
own  race  ? 

Anglo-Saxon  or  Anglo-Celt. 

Are  we  Gaels  to  be  simply  lost  in  the  great  ocean  of  Saxon 
civilisation  ?  Must  we  become  extinct  as  a  race,  our  only  immor- 
tality being  a  slightly  more  spirituelle  aroma  about  English 
literature,  and  a  slightly  less  German  cast  of  the  features  of  English 
people  ?  We  are  all  ambitious  for  our  own  race.  We  should  like 
to  see  our  small  but  gallant  Gaelic  nation  playing  a  high  and 


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The  Mission  of  the  Celt  67 

noble  role  even  yet  on  the  stage  of  history.  Some  of  us  may 
perhaps  have  even  wondered  in  our  younger  days  whether  it 
might  not  be  possible  some  day  for  the  Highlanders  to  descend 
from  their  mountains  and  seize  the  reigns  of  empire,  as  Cyrus 
and  his  Persians  swooped  down  on  ancient  Babylon.  The  thing 
would  not  be  worth  doing,  even  if  it  were  possible.  All  that  is 
best  in  the  empire  is  already  ours  for  the  taking,  and  what  is  even 
better,  the  opportunity  of  serving  the  empire  is  open  to  us  all. 
But  to  the  real  question — Whether  the  Gaelic  race  as  a  race  is  to 
survive  and  take  a  recognised  part  in  the  moulding  of  the  civili- 
sation of  the  future?  The  answer  must  depend  on  our  race 
itself.  If  the  Gael  is  to  be  a  real  and  acknowledged  factor  in 
that  work,  two  things  are  necessary — he  must  preserve  his 
heritage  of  Celtic  ideals,  and  he  must  endeavour  to  rid  his 
character  of  its  historic  weaknesses. 

Our  Weaknesses — (1)  Instability. 

The  first  and  most  noticeable  of  these  weaknesses  will  be 
recognised  as  instability.  The  Galatians  of  Asia  Minor,  an 
offshoot  of  our  race,  were  the  most  ready  and  ardent  disciples 
that  St  Paul  ever  made,  but  with  all  their  exaggerated  devotion 
they  were  the  first  to  fall  away.  All  down  our  history,  and 
perhaps  most  of  all  in  the  career  of  the  great  Celtic  nation  of 
France,  we  have  frequent  examples  of  the  volatility  and  instability 
of  the  race.  Our  own  hard  training  in  northern  Scotland  has 
done  much  to  eradicate  this  weakness,  but  the  ill-advised  out- 
break of  '45,  with  its  fruitless  victories,  as  well  as  many  a  little 
outburst  of  temper  since,  must  convince  us  that  two  centuries  of 
industrialism  and  Calvinism  have  left  us  still  Celts,  with  some 
of  the  racial  weakness — spasmodic  effort,  ardent  enthusiasm,  with 
the  inevitable  reaction. 

(2)  Pride. 

The  second  Celtic  vice  is  pride.  Two  thousand  years  ago 
Diodorus  wrote  that  we  Celts  were  fond  of  enigmas,  revelling  in 
hyperbole,  and  with  an  overwhelming  contempt  for  others.  In 
our  own  day  the  expression  "  Highland  pride  and  poverty "  is 
proverbial,  and  when  we  see  ourselves  reflected  in  such  mirrors  as 
the  novels  and  poems  of  Sir  Walter  Scott,  we  cannot  overlook  the 
hauteur  there  displayed.  Now,  before  we  can  do  any  good  in  the 
world  we  must  learn  the  graces  of  humility  and  brotherliness 
towards  other  races.  If,  as  is  generally  supposed,  the  Celts  are 
the  oldest  Aryan  race  in  Europe,  they  ought  to  act  the  part  of  an 


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68  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

elder  brother.  The  Gael  ought  especially  to  make  himself  master 
of  English  literature  and  science  and  art.  He  is  the  heir  of  all 
the  ages,  and  for  the  perfecting  of  his  own  nature,  as  well  as  for 
the  serving  of  the  empire  and  the  world,  he  must  cast  away  hi* 
traditional  pride,  and  assimilate  the  best  that  modern  civilisation 
can  produce. 

(•3)—r  Pessimism. 

There  is  a  third  weakness  at  the  bottom  of  our  character  as  a 
race,  which  is,  I  think,  the  worst  of  all.  It  is  the  old  fatalism 
and  pessimism  which  fifteen  centuries  of  Christianity  have  left 
quite  untouched.  In  our  Pagan  Gaelic  we  speak  of  Rath  and 
manadh.  We  say,  Bha  e  'an  dan  da  or  Bha  'uair  d  feitkeamh  air. 
In  our  proverbs  we  have  constantly  recurring  the  idea  of  relent- 
less fate,  and  this  notion  of  immovable  destiny  colours  Highland 
ideas  of  life.  That  is  why  we  are  such  ultra-Calvinists,  and  that 
is  why  every  nation  in  Europe  talks  of  "the  melancholy  tempera- 
ment of  the  Celt."  It  is  because  we  are  pessimists  at  heart. 
This  creed  our  forefathers  learned  in  the  hard  school  of  adversity, 
where  they  struggled  long  and  bravely  with  the  cruel  facts  of  life. 
No  doubt  they  were  right,  as  pessimists  are  still  right,  as  to  these 
facts,  but  there  may  be  a  question  as  to  the  point  of  view.  The 
greatest  optimist  the  world  ever  saw  looked  on  the  glorious 
texture  and  colour  of  a  lily,  and  remembering  that  it  bloomed 
only  to  fade  on  the  morrow,  pointed  out  the  wonderful  prodigality 
of  nature  when  even  the  short-lived  lily  is  so  endowed.  The 
pessimist  genius  of  the  Gael  would  be  inclined  rather  to  wonder 
at  the  mystery  of  awful  fate  when  even  the  most  perfect  beauty 
lives  but  for  a  day.  It  is  all  in  the  point  of  view.  Now,  this 
melancholy  fatalism  is  in  our  blood  ;  it  saddens  the  whole  circle 
of  Ossianic  poetry,  it  rings  through  the  Gaelic  folk-tales,  it  gives 
its  own  weird  colouring  to  Highland  religion,  and  until  we  escape 
from  it  into  a  more  happy  atmosphere,  our  race  can  never  have 
the  buoyancy  and  cheerfulness  which  are  quite  necessary  if  it  is  to 
be  a  recognised  factor  in  the  evolution  of  civilisation. 

Preservation  of  Celticism. 

We  shall  be  better  Celts  when  we  rid  ourselves  of  these 
weaknesses,  but  if  we  are  to  remain  Celts  at  all,  not  to  speak  of 
Celticising  the  British  nation,  we  must  keep  in  touch  with  the 
spirit  of  the  race  as  embodied  in  our  literature  and  traditions,  for 
any  real  progress  must  bear  some  relation  to  the  past.  While 
appropriating  the  civilised   institutions,  the  industrial  arts,  the 


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Sketches  of  Strathardle.  69 

literature,  and  even  the  language  of  the  Saxon,  we  must  remain 
Gaels.  It  is  only  thus  that  we  can  have  any  real  power.  Civili- 
sation has  terrible  problems  that  await  solution.  Side  by  side 
with  its  enormous  increase  of  intellectual  and  material  wealth 
there  is  an  increase  of  degradation  and  vice.  It  needs  the 
touch  of  some  Celtic  fairy  to  change  it  into  some  semblance  of 
her  own  ideals.  The  British  Empire,  just  as  much  as  the  old 
-empires  of  Babylon  and  Egypt,  is  founded  on  brute  force,  and  it 
needs  to  .be  inspired  with  Celtic  sentiment  and  sympathy,  and 
lofty  idealism,  and  the  generous  chivalry  of  Ossian  and  Fionn.  I 
think  it  is  clear  that  it  is  on  some  such  lines  as  these  that 
Providence  intends  the  Gael  to  accomplish  his  mission. 

Gospel  op  the  Gael. 

This,  then,  is  the  Gospel  of  the  Celt.  Until  quite  lately,  we 
seem  to  have  been  a  race  under  some  evil  enchantment.  We 
were  ashamed  of  our  Gaelic,  ashamed  of  being  Highlanders,  and, 
like  a  people  in  dotage,  living  only  in  the  past.  Our  music  was 
^11  in  the  minor  key — 

Dubh-bhr6n  mar  an  sruthan  diomhair 
Ag  iarraidh  fo  iochdar  na  bruaich. 

But  all  this  is  changed ;  the  spell  is  broken.  There  is  a  new 
temper  abroad.  The  Gael  feels  the  current  of  youth  coursing 
through  his  veins.  He  knows  that  a  high  destiny  awaits  him, 
-and  that  if  he  is  true  to  himself,  "  the  world's  great  future  lies 
with  him." 


9th  APRIL,  1896, 

At  the  meeting  this  evening,  Mr  Charles  Fergusson,  Fairburn, 
read  his  fifth  contribution  to  the  Society  on  the  "  Early  History, 
Legends,  and  Traditions  of  Strathardle."  The  paper  was  as 
follows : — 

SKETCHES  OF  THE  EARLY  HISTORY,  LEGENDS,  AND 
TRADITIONS  OF  STRATHARDLE  AND  ITS  GLENS. 
—No.  V. 

1600. — This  is  certainly  the  most  disturbed  and  unsettled 
period  of  Strathardle  history  that  I  have  had  to  deal  with  since  I 
began  to  trace  it  from  the  year  1 ;  nothing,  but  raids  and  cattle- 
lifting  forays  by  caterans  and  unfriendly  clans  from  all  directions 


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70  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

— from  the  east  came  the  Earl  of  Montrose's  men  from  Kincar- 
dine ;  from  the  30uth  the  Earl  of  Drummon.d's  men  and  the  Clan 
Gregor  from  Glenstrae  ;  from  the  west  came  the  Clan  Menzies  and 
the  Campbells  of  Glenlyon,  and  the  Robertsons  of  Struan ;  and 
from  the  north  the  Clan  Chattan,  and  the  Macdonnells  of  Keppoch 
and  Glengarry — all  these  and  many  more  came  at  this  time  to 
slay  and  to  plunder ;  and;  to  make  matters  worse,  feuds,  discords, 
and  tumults  raged  amongst  the  natives,  so  that  we  find  that  t he- 
Privy  Council  Records  for  this  period  bristle  with  acts  of  caution, 
in  which  the  Strathardle  lairds  are  bound  in  very  heavy  sums  of 
money  not  to  harm  each  other  or  their  neighbours.  Religion  had 
also  a  good  deal  to  do  with  these  disturbances,  as  the  Robertsons 
of  Straloch  and  many  others  had  at  the  Reformation  become 
zealous  Protestants,  whilst  others  stuck  to  the  old  Catholic  faith, 
so  that  we  find  that,  as  Burns  say,  "  Even  at  the  Lord's  House  on 
Sunday  "  they  could  not  restrain  their  rivalry :  as  we  read  in  the 
Rev.  James  Robertson's  "Barons  Robertson  of  Straloch,"  page  14, 
writing  of  the  "Baron  Cutach "  (John  VI.),  he  says — "The 
Protestant  religion  was  beginning  to  take  footing  in  Strathardle, 
and  the  Baron,  being  not  only  a  Protestant  but  the  principal  man 
in  the  country,  it  was  necessary  for  him  to  go  to  the  kirk  in  a 
warlike  manner  to  protect  the  minister,  Mr  Sylvester  Rattray  of 
Persie,  his  brother-in-law,  and  also  to  prevent  and  quell  tumults 
occasioned  by  Rattray  of  Dalrulzean  and  Spalding  of  Ashin- 
tullie." 

I  may  here  mention  that  there  was  an  old  feud  between  the 
Robertsons  of  Straloch  and  the  Spaldings  of  Ashintully,  and  so 
bitter  did  it  become  that  the  Privy  Council  in  an  Act  of  Caution, 
17th  February,  1590,  bound  Robertson  of  Straloch  in  .£500  not  to 
harm  Spalding.  And  by  another  Act,  on  10th  March  of  the  same 
year,  James  Wemyis  of  Myln  of  Werie  becomes  surety  for  Andrew 
Spalding  of  Ashintullie  in  £1000  not  to  harm  John  Robertson  of 
Straloch  or  his  son.  The  Spaldings  were  always  such  a  wild, 
restless  race,  and  were  so  often  in  trouble,  that  it  was  found 
necessary  here,  as  usual,  to  lay  a  double  fine  upon  Spalding,  and 
it  will  always  be  noticed  as  we  go  along  that  in  all  cases  of 
caution  or  fines,  however  lightly  the  other  Strathardle  lairds  get 
off,  the  Chiefs  of  the  Spaldings  always  get  extra  heavy  penalties. 
However,  they  always  seemed  to  have  had  the  art  of  slipping 
quietly  out  of  their  difficulties  and  getting  clear  when  the  others 
had  to  pay  the  piper. 

Now,  the  Rev.  James  was  very  proud  of  all  his  ancestors,  the 
famous  "  Barans  Ruadh,"  and  he  specially  extols  the  bravery  and 


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Sketches  of  Strathardle.  71 

other  good  qualities  of  the  Baran  Cutach  ;  but,  as  becomes  a  rev. 
divine,  he  draws  the  line  at  playing  the  bagpipes  when  going  to 
kirk  on  Sunday,  as  he  says  : — "  John  VI.,  called  Cutach  (short), 
was  of  a  genteel,  generous  disposition,  loved  to  live  high  and  to 
make  a  figure  in  the  world.  Went  with  a  piper  and  a  retinue 
attending  him,  and  so  fond  was  he  of  that  attendance  that  I  have 
heard  it  said  that  he  commonly  went  to  church  on  Lord's  day 
with  his  piper  playing  before  him.  This,  if  true,  was  neither 
grave  nor  religious." 

It  will  be  seen  that  the  rev.  historian  lets  the  Baran  Cutach 
off  as  easily  as  possible  for  his  Sunday  pipe-playing,  and,  in  fact, 
excuses  it  as  necessary  to  protect  his  brother-in-law,  the  minister 
of  Kirkmichael.  He  then  goes  on  to  tell  us  something  of  the 
week-day  exploits  of  the  Baron  and  his  famous  piper : — 

"The  Baran  Cutach  was  famous  for  suppressing  robbers.  It's 
storied  of  him  that  one  time  he  himself,  with  his  piper  only  in  his 
eompany,  turned  a  hership  or  prey  of  black  cattle,  driven  by 
eighteen  well  armed  men,  by  the  following  stratagem : — Having 
come  within  sight  of  the  thieves,  he  caused  his  piper  to  stay 
behind  a  rising  ground  and  play  on  his  pipes ;  and  he  had  the 
courage  to  march  forward  alone  till  he  was  within  shot  of  the 
robbers,  and  then  stood  upon  a  little  eminence  and  cried  with  a 
loud  voice — '  The  thieves  are  here  !  Haste  up  the  people  imme- 
diately !  Let  a  good  party  cast  about  and  run  before  them,  and 
let  the  body  of  the  people  come  up  straight  and  they  are  all  our 
own.'  How  soon  the  thieves  heard  this  bold  call,  and  withal 
heard  the  piper  play,  they  left  their  prey,  all  their  baggage,  and 
many  of  their  weapons,  and  took  them  to  their  heels,  leaving 
all  to  the  Baron  and  his  piper.  He  never  used  to  go  single. 
He  had  two  other  men  with  him  besides  the  piper,  and  called 
them  to  move  from  place  to  place,  as  if  to  call  in  a  body  of  people, 
crying — '  Barons,  come  forward  !  the  thieves  are  here  ! '  Then 
the  piper  played  a  march,  which,  when  the  thieves  heard,  they 
fled,  for  the  Baron's  name  was  a  terror  to  all  such  people,  as  he 
seldom  went  any  distance  without  men  in  arms,  which  was  much 
in  use  for  men  of  any  note  in  those  troublesome  times.  Going  to 
Glenfernate  some  time  after,  as  he  was  passing  Tom-an-Tuirc,  one 
of  his  servants  who  waited  on  his  cattle  informed  him  that  some 
Highland  robbers,  to  the  number  of  fifteen  or  sixteen,  had  com- 
mitted a  great  deal  of  abuse  and  robbery  in  and  about  his  sheals 
arid  bothies.  He  hastened  up  to  that  place  with  a  number  of  his 
tenants,  whom  he  levied  as  he  went  forward,  and  found  the  thieves 
eating  and  drinking  his  milk  and  cheese.     He  fell  upon  them  ; 


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72  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

killed  them,  and  buried  them  in  a  hollow  place  not  far  from  the 
bothies,  where  some  nettles  grow  to  this  day.  This  occasioned  a 
byword,  still  remembered,  which  is  *  Bithidh  urad  mu  dhdibhinn,  ys  a 
bha  mu  dMihhinn  itheadh  caise  a'  Bharajn  Euaidhe ' — *  There  will 
be  as  much  about  it  as  about  eating  Baron  Reid's  cheese.' " 

"  On  another  occasion  some  Highlanders  came  down  and  killed 
a  gentleman  in  Glenshee — one  M'Omie  or  M'Homie  (M'Combie). 
The  Baron  caught  two  of  them,  and  instantly  caused  them  to  be 
hanged  on  birch  trees  in  the  wood  at  Ennochdhu.  Their  graves 
are  to  be  seen  there  to  this  day.  Their  names  were  Donald-na- 
Hogg  and  Finlay-na-Balior."  I  have  often  when  a  boy  heard  the 
old  people  relate  the  story  of  the  capture  and  execution  of  these 
two  caterans,  which  took  place  at  the  famous  "Fuaran  Fhionn- 
laidh" — Finlay's  Well — which  took  its  name  from  Finlay-na-Balior. 
This  well  lies  about  two  hundred  yards  south-east  of  Ennochdhu, 
at  the  foot  of  the  bank  between  the  higher  and  lower  fields,  and 
about  midway  between  Dalreoch  Bridge  and  where  Dirnanean 
Burn  joins  the  Ardle.  Its  water  is  extra  good,  and  it  used  to 
supply  the  village,  but  since  the  bank  was  planted  and  fenced  the 
pathway  to  it  is  now  stopped,  and  it  is  seldom  visited. 

Finlay-na-Balior  was  the  leader  of  the  caterans  who  raided 
Glenshee,  and  slew  M'Combie,  who  had  attempted  to  rescue  his 
cattle.  Knowing  that  the  Glenshee  men  would  rise  in  force  to 
revenge  the  death  of  M'Combie,  the  caterans  relinquished  their 
prey,  smd  scattered  in  diflerent  directions  to  baffle  pursuit,  all 
going  ij«.rth  or  west  except  Finlay  and  Donald,  who  turned  south 
to  Strathardle  by  Dirnanean,  and  at  daybreak  they  took  refuge  in 
the  thick  wood  of  Ennochdhu  beside  the  well,  where  they 
lay  hid  all  day  to  avoid  being  discovered,  as  the  country  was 
now  alarmed  and  parties  hunting  for  the  fugitives  everywhere. 
At  night  they  sallied  forth  in  search  of  food,  but  could  find 
nothing,  until  at  last  they  came  across  a  cow  belonging  to  an 
old  widow  who  lived  in  a  cottage  near  the  wood.  They  at 
once  drove  off  the  cow,  killed  her,  and  roasted  part  of  her,  and  then 
lay  down  to  sleep  in  the  thicket.  Tn  the  morning  the  widow 
missed  her  cow,  and  went  in  search  of  her.  There  had  been  a 
very  heavy  dew  that  night,  so  the  widow  soon  came  across  the 
trail  of  the  cow  and  her  captors  where  their  feet  had  brushed  the 
dew  of  the  long  grass ;  she  followed  this  trail  till  she  came  to  the 
well,  where,  to  her  great  grief,  she  saw  the  half- skinned  carcase 
of  her  poor  cow,  and  the  two  caterans  lying  sound  asleep  beside  it. 
She  took  in  the  situation  at  a  glance,  and  quietly  withdrawing, 
she  at  once  hastened  to  the  Baron  Cutach,  and  told  him  her 


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story.  He  at  once  guessed  that  they  were  the  murderers  of  his 
friend  M'Combie,  so  calling  his  piper  and  some  of  his  people,  he 
hurried  to  the  wood,  and  forming  a  circle,  they  surrounded  the 
well  where  the  caterans  still  slept  soundly,  but  they  soon  got  a 
rude  awakening,  as  the  Baron  ordered  the  piper  to  blow  up  his 
pipes,  which  he  did  with  vigour,  composing  extempore  a  new  tune 
for  the  occasion,  which  is  well  known  to  this  day,  called  "  A'  bho 
dhubh,  's  a'  bh6  dhruimfhionn" — "  The  black  cow,  the  black  white- 
backed  cow,"  which  was  the  colour  of  the  widow's  slaughtered 
cow.  The  robbers  sprang  up,  and  endeavoured  to  escape,  but 
they  were  instantly  taken,  and  the  Baron  at  once  hung  them  on 
two  birch  trees.  Just  before  being  strung  up,  Finlay  asked  for 
a  last  drink  out  of  the  well,  which  he  got,  and  the  well  is  called 
after  him  to  this  day.  The  Baron  sent  the  cow's  carcase  home  to 
the  old  widow,  and  a  live  cow  as  well,  to  replace  her  beloved 
"Black,  white- backed"  cow,  and  as  a  reward  for  her  share  in 
bringing  the  caterans  to  justice. 

1601. — We  have  just  seen  in  the  previous  year  that  Spalding 
of  Ashintully  raised  tumults  in  Kirkmichael  Kirk  during  service 
on  Sundays^  A  wild,  lawless,  turbulent  race  were  these  Spaldings, 
regular  Ishmaelites ;  their  hand  was  against  everybody,  and  every- 
body was  against  them.  The  first  of  the  race  is  said  to  have 
belonged  to  the  town  of  Spalding  in  Flanders  ;  he  came  over  with 
the  Conqueror  in  1066.  After  taking  his  full  share  in  the  hard 
fighting  of  the  time,  he  got  a  grant  of  lands  in  and  about 
Berwick-on-Tweed.  There  his  descendants  flourished  till  1318, 
when,  as  we  read  in  "  Ty tier's  History  of  Scotland,"  Vol.  I.,  page 
1 33 — "  King  Robert  the  Bruce  determined  to  proceed  with  the 
siege  of  Berwick,  a  town  which,  as  the  key  to  England,  was 
fortified  in  the  strongest  manner.  Fortunately  for  the  Scots, 
King  Edward  had  committed  its  defence  to  a  governor  whose 
severity  and  strict  adherence  to  discipline  had  disgusted  some  of 
the  burgesses,  and  one  of  these,  named  Spalding,  who  had  married 
a  Scotch  woman,  was  seduced  from  his  allegiance,  and  determined 
on  the  night  when  it  was  his  turn  to  take  his  part  in  the  watch 
rounds  to  assist  the  enemy  in  an  escalade.  This  intelligence  he 
communicated  to  the  Marshal,  and  he  carried  the  news  direct  to 
Bruce  himself,  who  was  not  slow  in  taking  advantage  of  it. 
Douglas  and  Randolph,  along  with  March,  were  commanded  to 
assemble  with  a  chosen  body  of  men  in  the  evening,  and  at  night, 
having  left  their  horses  at  the  rendezvous,  marched  to  Berwick, 
.and,  by  the  assistance  of  Spalding,  fixed  their  ladders,  and  scaled 
the  walls,  and  took  the  town."     In  reward  for  this  service,  we  find 


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74:  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness 

in  "The  History  of  the  Carnagies,  Earls  of  Southesk,"  page  48 2, 
that  Spalding  received  from  King  Robert  the  Bruce  on  1st  May, 
1319,  in  exchauge  for  his  lands  and  tenements  at  Berwick,  the 
lands  of  Ballourthy  and  Petmethey  in  Forfarshire,  together  with 
the  keepership  of  the  royal  forest  of  Kylgerry. 

This  was  their  first  footing  in  the  North.  Hardynge,  in  his 
Chronicle,  page  308,  tells  us  "  that  Spalding  after  betraying  the 
town  vfent  into  Scotland,  and  was  afterwards  slain  by  the  Scots." 
His  name  was  Peter  de  Spalding,  and  I  do  not  find  any  other 
mention  of  "  his  being  slain  by  the  Scots,"  though  it  is  exceedingly 
likely,  as  most  of  his  race  died  a  violent  death.  In  1397  his  son 
was  slain  by  Sir  Alexander  Moray  of  Abercairney,  who,  as  we  read 
in  the  "  Scottish  Nation,"  Vol.  II ,  p.  205,  u  Had  the  misfortune 
to  be  concerned  in  the  slaughter  of  one  Spalding,  and  was  obliged 
to  plead  the  privilege  of  Clan  Macduff,  as  being  within  the  ninth 
degree  of  consanguinity  to  the  noble  family  of  Fife,  and  the  privi- 
lege was  granted  to  him."  I  may  mention  that  this  famous* 
privilege  of  Clan  Macduff  was  granted  to  Duncan  Macduff,  the 
celebrated  Thane  of  Fife  of  Shakespeare,  by  King  Malcolm 
Canmore  for  great  services  done,  and  consisted  of — "  1st,  That  he, 
and  his  successors  lords  of  Fife,  should  have  the  right  of  placing 
the  Kings  of  Scotland  on  the  throne  at  their  coronation;  2nd, 
That  they  should  lead  the  van  of  the  Scottish  armies  whenever 
the  royal  banner  was  displayed ;  3rd,  That  if  he,  or  any  of  his 
kindred,  to  the  ninth  degree,  committed  slaughter  of  a  sudden ty, 
they  should  have  a  peculiar  sanctuary,  girth,  or  asylum,  and  obtain 
remission  on  payment  of  an  atonement  of  money." 

For  centuries  the  Spaldings  increased  in  power,  and  extended 
their  lands  in  Perth,  Forfar,  and  Fifeshires.  In  1400  King  Robert 
III.  gives  James  Spalding  a  charter  of  the  lands  of  Fermell  and 
Fornachty,  in  Forfarshire  ;  and  Richard  Spalding  at  the  same  time 
had  a  charter  of  confirmation  of  the  lauds  of  Lumbtham  and 
Craigaw,  in  Fifeshire.  In  1583  the  Spaldings  built  Ashintullie 
Castle,  and  in  1615  their  lands  of  Ashintullie  were  by  Act  of  Scots 
Parliament  created  into  a  barony  with  many  privileges,  including, 
of  course,  the  right  of  pit  and  gallows,  of  which  they  took  full 
advantage,  so  that,  many  a  poor  wretch  was  hung  on  the  old  ash 
tree  on  the  Gallow-hili — "  Tom-na-croiche  " — at  Ashintully  without 
any  trial  but  the  laird's  whim,  though  no  doubt  often  enough 
innocent  of  the  crime  laid  to  his  charge.  Thus  these  warlike 
barons  of  Ashintully  increased  in  wealth  and  power,  and  luied 
with  a  high  hand  on  the  Braes  of  Ardle  till  after  the  '45  ;  but  at 
the  beginning  of  last  century  their  power  began  to  decline,  and 


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Sketches  of  Strathardle.  75 

they  gradually  lost  all  their  extensive  lands,  and  for  the  last  two 
centuries  it  has  been  one  of  the  best  known  traditions  of  the 
Strath,  and  firmly  believed  in  to  this  day,  that  their  then  chief, 
Andrew  Spalding,  and  his  brother  David,  of  Whitehouse,  brought 
a  judgment  on  their  race  by  a  dark  deed  of  murder  done  by  them, 
for  which  they  blamed  and  hung  an  innocent  man. 

At  that  time  their  lived,  at  Bleaton,  a  farmer  of  the  name  of 
Andrew.  Fleming  (ancestor  of  the  late  Alexander  Fleming, 
Davan),  who  was  also  a  great  drover,  and  in  the  habit  of  buying 
all  the  spare  cattle  in  the  district,  and  taking  them  to  the 
southern  markets,  where  he  sold  most  of  them  to  the  famous 
Rob  Roy  Macgregor,  who  was  a  great  crony  of  his,  and  who  used 
often  to  visit  him  at  Bleaton,  on  which  occasions  they  both  always 
went  and  spent  a  night  with  Spalding  in  Ashintully  Castle,  where 
the  room  in  which  they  slept  is  called  Rob  Roy's  room  to  this 
day.  Having  taken  an  extra  large  drove  of  cattle  to  the  south 
and  sold  them  at  a  good  profit,  Fleming  was  returning  home  up 
Strathardle  with  a  large  sum  of  money  in  his  possession,  when  he 
was  waylaid  at  Whillie's  Burn,  near  Bridge  of  Cally,  by  Spalding 
of  Ashintully,  and  his  brother,  David  of  Whitehouse,  who  knew 
when  he  was  to  return,  where  they  robbed  and  murdered  him, 
and  threw  his  body  in  the  burn.  Spalding  had  arranged  that  his 
butler  should  go  to  Blairgowrie  on  that  day,  and  return  about 
the  same  time  as  Fleming,  and  as  he  was  the  only  one  seen  pass- 
ing that  way  after  Fleming,  he  was  accused  of  the  murder  by  the 
Spaldings,  who  had  him  tried,  condemned,  and  hung  at  Ashin- 
tully. Froni  that  day  began  the  decline  and  fall  of  the  family, 
everything  seemed  to  go  against  them,  so  that  their  power  and 
their  lands  dwindled  away,  and  their  race  died  out,  so  that,  at 
last,  sad  to  tell,  the  widow  of  the  last  laird  became  a  homeless 
tramp,  begging  her  bread  from  door  to  door  in  Strathardle  and 
Glenshee,  and  1  have  heard  old  men,  whose  grandfathers  had 
given  her  food  and  shelter,  relate  how  to  the  last  her  proud 
spirit  and  fiery  temper  were  a  terror  to  the  good  wives  and 
children  in  the  houses  she  frequented ;  she  was  also  a  big  power- 
ful, masculine  woman,  and  always  carried  a  huge  stick,  which  she 
freely  used  when  occasion  required. 

But  to  return  to  the  year  1601.  Of  all  the  wild  and  warlike 
race  of  Spaldings,  the  then  chief,  Andrew,  and  his  son  David, 
wore  the  most  noted.  They  were  never  out  of  trouble,  and  for 
many  years  about  this  time  there  were  several  cases  both  for  and 
against  them  at  every  meeting  of  the  Privy  Council,  and  there 
are  scores  of  acts  of  caution  binding  them  to  keep  the  peace,  to 


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76  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

which,  of  course,  they  paid  no  heed  whatever.  In  this  year  they 
were  before  the  Privy  Council  many  times,  especially  for  a  raid 
they  made  on  the  lands  of  Catgibban,  but  they  got  off  for  want  of 
proof.     A  clear  case  of  "  Guilty  but  not  proven." 

In  this  year  the  Clan  Menzies  of  Weem  made  a  raid  on 
Strathardle,  and  carried  off  the  cattle  belonging  to  William 
Chalmers  of  Nether  Cioquhat,  who  complained  to  the  Privy 
Council,  and  Alexander  Menzies  of  Weem  was  at  once  ordered  to 
enter  Donald  Menzies,  the  leader  of  the  raid,  on  a  certain  day 
before  the  Council.  The  Menzies  chief  agreed  to  "enter  the 
said  Donald,  provyding  he  wer  leving."  When  the  day  of  trial 
came,  at  Perth,  on  7th  August,  1602,  Donald  was  not  "leving,'' 
so  the  Laird  of  Menzies  pleaded  "  that  he  could  naways  enter  the 
said  Donald,  quha  hed  been  cruellie  and  unmercifullie  slain  by 
certain  of  his  seruandis."  So  the  Lords  ordered  Menzies  to  pay 
,£81  to  Chalmers  as  compensation  for  the  stolen  cattle  under  pain 
of  rebellion. 

1602. — But  of  all  the  raids  of  this  stirring  period,  the  most 
unfortunate  for  Strathardle  took  place  on  the  4th  August  of  this 
year,  when  Alexander  M 'Ranald  of  Gargavach,  the  tenth  Chief  of 
the  M'Donnells  of  Keppoch,  with  200  men,  consisting  of  the 
McDonnells  of  Keppoch  and  Glengarry,  the  Mackintoshes, 
and  the  Macgregors  of  Glenstrae,  made  a  raid  on  Glen- 
isla,  Glenshee,  and  Strathardle,  slew  many  of  the  people, 
plundered  and  burnt  their  houses  and  carried  off  2700 
cattle  and  100  horses.  This  Alexander  M 'Ranald,  the  then 
chief  of  Keppoch,  was  the  renowned  "  Alastair  nan  Cleas," 
Alexander  of  the  Tricks,  so  famous  in  song  and  story,  and  the  hero 
of  so  many  Highland  traditions,  especially  connected  with  the 
"  Black  Art,"  of  which  he  was  reckoned  the  greatest  master  ever 
known  in  the  Highlands.  He  received  his  early  education  at 
Rome,  where  he  also  attended  the  school  of  Black  Art,  of  which 
old  Satan  himself  specially  acted  as  head  professor.  Here  he 
proved  so  able  a  scholar  that  he  ultimately  outwitted  his  teacher, 
the  grand  master  himself.  As  the  story  goes,  Satan's  reward  was 
that  at  the  end  of  every  day's  teaching  he  carried  off  the  last 
student  who  remained  in  the  room.  Now  Alastair  generally 
managed  to  be  out  amongst  the  foremost,  but  the  other  students 
being  jealous  of  him,  they  formed  a  plot  to  block  his  way  and 
keep  him  back.  In  this  they  succeeded,  and  as  he  was  going  out 
of  the  door  last,  Satan  caught  him  and  claimed  him  as  his  lawful 
fee,  but  Alexander  of  the  Tricks  was  equal  to  the  occasion,  and  in 
good  Lochaber  Gaelic  he  said — "Thafear  eile  na  m'  dheidh  " — 


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Sketches  of  Strathardle.  77 

"  There  is  another  fellow  after  me,"  at  the  same  time  pointing  to 
his  shadow,  which  the  bright  sunshine  threw  on  the  wall.  Satan 
instantly  let  him  go  and  grabbed  at  the  shadow,  so  Alastair 
escaped  "  that  time,"  and  at  once  returned  to  Locbaber,  where  his 
father,  Ranald,  having  died  during  his  absence,  be  at  once 
succeeded,  but  ever  after  to  the  day  of  his  death,  let  the  sun 
shine  ever  so  bright,  he  cast  no  shadow,  as  Satan  had  gone  with 
it.  Such  is  the  old  tradition  so  well  known  and  so  firmly  believed 
in  all  over  the  Highlands  during  the  last  three  centuries,  and  it 
almost  seems  a  pity  to  spoil  it  by  the  modern  up-to-date  version 
given  in  last  December's  Celtic  Monthly,  where,  in  an 
account  of  the  Chiefs  of  Keppoch,  the  following  occurs : — 
"Alasdair  X.  of  Keppoch  is  said  to  have  been  in  Rome 
finishing  his  education  at  the  time  of  his  father's  death. 
He  was  famous  in  his  day  and  in  his  country  as  a  per- 
former of  miracles.  It  would  seem  that  part  of  the  education 
he  received  at  Rome  was  a  knowledge  of  arts  akin  to  the 
'three  card'  and  other  'sleight  of  hand'  tricks  of  to-day,  a 
knowledge  which  would  have  been  beyond  the  understanding  of 
his  uninitiated  countrymen,  and  which  could  easily  account  for  the 
marvellous  powers  attributed  to  him.  It  was  owing  to  his  having 
been  an  adept  in  this  way  that  he  came  to  be  known  as  l  Alasdair 
nan  Cleas '  (Alexander  of  the  tricks).  He  was  considered  one  of 
the  most  accomplished  men  of  his  day." 

After  Alastair  and  his  Lochaber  men  had  harried  Glenisla,  they 
journeyed  west  through  Glenkilry  and  "Strathardle  with  their 
plunder,  and  driving  the  2700  cattle  and  1 00  horses  before  them.  The 
Glenisla  men  had  sent  word  of  the  raid,  and  asked  the  assistance 
of  the  Strathardle  people,  so  the  fiery  cross  was  sent  round,  and  a 
party  of  Strathardle  men  under  the  Baron  Ruadh  of  Straloch,  and 
Spalding  of  Ashintully  attacked  the  Lochaber  men  near  Ennoch- 
dhu,  where  a  fierce  and  bloody  battle  took  place.  The  Baron 
Ruadh,  a  wise  and  prudent  soldier,  seeing  the  enemy  in  such  force, 
was  following  them  up  in  the  rear,  waiting  till  all  his  people  would 
have  time  to  gather,  but  Spalding  of  Ashintullie,  always  hasty  and 
headstrong,  coming  up  with  a  few  men,  at  once  began  the  battle, 
so  to  save  him  the  Baron  had  to  join  in  also,  but  though  they 
fought  with  desperate  valour,  the  Strathardle  men  were  so  few  in 
numbers  that  they  got  badly  cut  up  before  the  main  body  of  their 
men  could  gather.  There  were  sixteen  gentlemen  of  the  district 
slain  in  this  attack,  besides  a  great  many  men,  as  we  are  told  in 
the  Privy  Council  Records — "  They  slew  the  nowmber  of  sextene 
special  gentlemen  of  the  countrie,  hurtit  and  wounded  to  the  deid 


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78  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

a  grite  nowmer  of  uthir  persons."    But  the  Strathardle  men  began 
to  gather  in  force  from  all  directions,  and  fought  so  bravely  that 
Keppoch  soonsawthat  he  would  have  to  retreat  and  leave  all  his  spoil 
— "  and  because  they  could  nocht  guidlie  get  the  said  guidis  caryit 
away  with  thame,  they  maist  barbarouslie  and  crewellie  hochit,  slew, 
and  gorrit  the  maist  pairt  of  the  said  cattel  to  the  great  hurt  and 
prejudice  of  the  common  weal."     At  last  the  Lochaber  men  were 
totally  defeated  with  great  slaughter,  and  fled  up  Glenfernate, 
pursued  to  the  marches  of  Badenoch  by  the  enraged  Strathardle 
men.     The  following  complaint  was  laid  before  the  Privy  Council 
by  the  Strathardle  lairds  on  December  16th,  160fi : — Privy  Council 
Records,  Vol.  VI.,  page  500.     "Complaint  by  John  Robertson  of 
Straloch,  Andrew  Spalding  of  Ashintullie.  Lauchlan  Farquharson 
of    Bruchdearg,    John  Rattray  of  Dalrylane,   Walter  Rattray   of 
Borland,  Colin  Campbell  in  Glenisla,  Archibald  Campbell  of  Persie, 
John  Ogilvie  cf  Freuch,  and  the  other  good  subjects  in  Strath- 
ardle and  Glenshee,   as  follows : — Upon  4th  August  last,  Alex. 
M'Ranald    of    Gargavach,    Donald    and    Ranald    M'Ranald    his 
brothers,  John   Dow  M 'Ranald,  Allane  and  Angus  M'Ranald  his 
sons,  Allester  M'Eane  Vclnnes,  John,  Angus,  Donald,  and  Ranald 
his  sons,  with  others  to  the  number  of  200  persons,  all  theives  and 
sorners  of  the  Clan   Chattan  and  Clan  Gregor,  and  all  Donald 
M'Angus   of  Glengarry's   men,    armed    with   bows,    haberchons, 
hagbuts,  and  pistolets,  came  to  Glenyla,  and  there  reft  all  the 
goods  within  the  said  bounds,  consisting  of  2700  nolt,  100  horses 
and  mares,   with   the  plenishing  of  the  country,  whereupon  the 
'  effray  being  rissen  in  the  country/  the  complainers,  in  obedience 
to  the  laws  and  acts  cf  Parliament  anent  rising  at  affrays,  and 
following  of  theives,  '  conveint  thamsellfs  togidder,  sa  mony  as 
they  could  mak  on  a  suddene,  and  followed  the  said  theives  and 
lymmers  of  puipose  and  intention  to  have  releivit  the  geir,  and  to 
have  apprehendit  and  presentit  the  offendours  to  justice.     And  so 
many  of  the  said  complainers  as  were  convenient  for  the  time 
having  enterit  with  the  said  theives,  they  maist  crewellie  and 
unmercifullie  set  upon  the  said  complainers,  slew  the   nowmer 
of  fyftene  or  sextene  special  gentlemen  of  the  country,  hurtit 
and  woundit  to  the  deid  a  grite  nowmer  of  uthir  personis,  and 
because  they  could  not  guidlie  get  the  said  guidis  caryit  away  with 
thame,  they  most  barbarouslie  and  crewellie  hochit,  slew,  and 
gorrit  the  maist  pairt  of  the  said  guidis  to  the  gret  hurt  and  pre- 
judice of  the  common  weal."     Now,  George,  Marquis  of  Huntley, 
and    Lachlan   Macintosh   of    Dunauchtane   ought   to   enter   the 
defenders  because  they  are  their  men,  and  dwell  upon  their  'lands. 


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Sketches  of  Stvathardle.  79 

Charge  had  been  given  to  the  Marquis  to  appear  himself,  and 
enter  the  said  men,  ps  also  to  the  said  Donald  M 'Angus  of  Glen- 
garry, and  to  Allastair  M'Gregor  of  Glenstrae — many  thieves  and 
broken  men  of  whose  clan  were  present  by  his  direction  at  the 
said  deed — to  appear  and  'answer  ;  and  now  Andrew  Spalding  of 
Ashjntullie  appearing  for  himself  and  the  other  pursuers,  but  none 
of  the  defenders  appearing,  and  the  said  malefactors  not  having 
been  entered,  the  order  is  to  denounce  Huntley,  Glengarry,  and 
Glenstrae  rebels.  The  letters  of  horning  are,  however,  to  be 
suspended  to  Candlemas  next,  that  the  King  and  Council  "  may 
yet  understand  quhat  diligence  the  said  Marquis  will  do "  in  the 
entry  of  the  said  Allester  by  that  time  towards  the  redress  of  the 
complainers. 

Instead  of  appearing,  as  ordered,  before  the  Privy  Council  in 
Feb.,  1602,  to  answer  for  their  great  raid  on  Strathardle,  "Alex- 
ander of  the  Tricks,"  and  the  other  M 'Ranald  chieftains  of  the 
Keppoch  Clan,  did  what  was  far  more  to  their  taste,  they 
assembled,  but,  instead  of  going  to  Edinburgh,  they  went  north 
the  way  of  Inverness  on  a  plundering  expedition  as  usual,  and 
which  they  carried  out  with  their  usual  feiocity.  This  is  proved 
by  the  following  complaint  to  the  Privy  Council  by  John  Campbell, 
Commissary  of  Inverness,  P.C.  Records,  Vol.  VI.,  page  369 : — 
"That  the  M 'Ranalds  to  the  number  of  60,  all  theives  and  sorners 
of  clans,  and  all  by  the  causing  of  the  said  Alexander  M 'Ranald  of 
Gargavach,  came  armed  with  bows,  &c,  to  the  complainers, 
houses  and  lands  of  Moy  in  fair  daylight,  and  divided  themselves 
into  two  companies  for  purposes  of  outrage.  One  company 
remained  at  pursuer's  own  place,  "  quhar  thay  tresscnablie  and 
awfullie  raised  fyre,  brunt,  and  destroyit  his  haill  houssis  and 
spulzied  all.  The  other  company  passed  to  the  house  of  the  late 
John  Buchan,  pursuer's  tenant,  which  they  first  spulzied  and  then 
tressonablie  brunt,  and  moreover  they  took  the  said  late  James 
and  Patrick  Buchan  his  son  and  Robert  Anderson  his  servant,  and 
11  having  maist  schamefullie,  cruellie,  and  barbourouslie  cuttit  of 
their  leggis  and  armis,  and  utherwise  dismemberit  thame  at  their 
pleasour,  they  kaist  thame  quick  in  the  fyre  and  thair  brunt 
thame  within  the  said  houssis."  They  also  carried  off  20  oxen  and 
60  sheep  belonging  to  complainer,  and  "  wrakit  and  herryit  his 
haill  pure  tenantis  within  the  said  toun  the  lyk  of  whilk  barbarous 
and  heistlie  cruel  tie,  commit  tit  so  far  within  the  incuntrie  hes 
seldome  bene  herd  of." 

The  law  was  too  weak  at  this  time  to  reach  Lochaber,  so 
Keppoch  and  his  clan  escaped  punishment  for  all  these  savage  out- 


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80  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

rages  and  many  more.  Not  only  that,  but  I  find  that  six  years 
later,  in  1608,  Alexander  M'Ranald  had  influence  enough  at 
Court  to  get  the  king  to  grant  him  a  free  pardon  for  these  and  all 
his  other  offences  against  the  law.  Truly  he  was  well  named 
"  Alexander  of  the  Tricks."  Thi*  pardon  is  preserved  in  the 
Register  of  the  Great  Seal:— "  2106  Apud  Edinburgh  16  th  June 
1608.  Rex  dedit  litems  remissionis  Alexandro,  alias  Allaster 
M'Rannald  de  Gargavach  pro  ejus  vita  duraturas — pro  arte  and 
parte  necis  in  Straythardill  et  Glenschie  a.d.  1602,  ant  eocirca 
commissee  ;  ac  pro  arte  et  parte  ignis  excitati  in  domum  Commis- 
sarii  de  Inverness,  <fcc,  et  pro  ceteris  offensis,  &c."  The  purport 
of  which  is  that  the  King  grants  a  free  pardon  to  M'Rannald  for 
his  raid  on  Strathardle  and  Glenshee ;  and  also  for  burning  the 
house  of  the  Commissary  of  Inverness,  &c,  and  for  making  a  raid 
on  Atholl  in  June  1608,  and  burning  the  house  of  Neil  Stewart 
M'Gillecallum,  and  for  many  other  offences. 

Alexander  of  the  Tricks  carried  on  the  same  kind  of  life  for 
thirty-eight  years  after  his  famous  raid  on  Strathardle,  and  held 
his  lands  of  Keppoch  by  the  right  of  the  sword  for  over  fifty 
years  against  the  Government  and  all  the  powerful  families  of  the 
north,  and  at  last  died  a  very  old  man  in  his  bed — a  death  which 
few,  indeed,  of  his  race  ever  died.  The  gallant  fighting  Keppochs  ! 
they  won  their  lands  by  their  swords,  and  they  kept  them  by 
their  swords,  but  they  trusted  too  much  and  too  long  to  their 
claymores,  for  when  the  old  fighting  days  were  past  and  gone,  and 
when  all  the  other  lairds  in  the  Highlands  had  secured  charters 
for  their  lands,  still  the  Keppochs  refused  to  hold  their  lands  by 
a  "  sheep-skin"  charter,  and  still  stuck  to  the  sword,  but  others 
secured  the  despised  parchment  charters  for  the  lands  of  Keppoch, 
with  the  result  that,  when  the  pen  became  mightier  than  the 
sword,  the  gallant  Keppochs  lost  their  lands,  and  to  them  the 
words  of  their  old  pibroch  tune  are  only  too  true — "  Tha  a' 
Cheapach  na  'fasach,"  "  Keppoch  is  desolate." 

This  was  a  very  stirring  time  for  Strathardle,  for  besides  its 
own  internal  feuds,  it  being  one  of  the  main  passes  into  the 
Lowlands  caused  it  to  be  traversed  by  marauding  clans  from  all 
quarters,  as  we  can  see  from  the  Privy  Council  Records.  Besides 
the  complaint  already  given  against  the  M 'Ranalds,  there  are  other 
three  in  this  same  year.  One  on  August  7th,  by  William 
M'Gillimoyle  in  Glenbrierachan,  against  the  Robertsons  of  Struan 
for  a  raid  on  his  lands ;  another  on  September  9th,  by  Fergus 
M'Coull,  in  Straloch,  against  the  Breadalbane  Campbells ;  and 
one  on  November  23,  by  Andrew  Spalding  of  Ashintullie,  against 
Lord  Drummond  and  his  clan  for  raiding  his  lands  of  Glenbeg. 


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Sketches  of  Strathardle.  81 

In  the  year  1600  a  feud  broke  out  between  two  great  Angus 
families,  the  Ogilvies  and  Lindsays,  and  in  a  skirmish,  in  which 
the  former,  under  the  Master  of  Ogilvie,  defeated  the  latter,  who 
were  led  by  Lord  Spynie,  who  was  Alexander  Lindsay,  fourth  son 
of  the  tenth  Earl  of  Crawford,  the  Robertsons  of  Straloch 
assisted  the  Ogilvies.  Lord  Spynie  complained  to  the  Privy 
Council,  and  the  Ogilvies  were  ordered  to  come  up  for  trial,  Sir 
John  Ogilvie  of  Inverquharity  becoming  surety  for  £10,000  that 
the  Master  of  Ogilvie  and  all  the  others  would  enter  in  ward  at 
Haddington  within  48  hours  to  stand  trial.  But  they  did  not, 
and  the  case  was  adjourned  from  time  to  time  till  15th  September, 
1602,  when  the  Master  of  Ogilvie  gave  assurance,  under  pain  of 
10,000  merks,  and  his  brother,  Sir  John  Ogilvie  of  Craig,  under  a 
penalty  of  5000  merks,  that  the  said  Lord  Spynie  would  be 
unharmed  of  them  till  1st  January,  1603: — "Yet,  upon  26th 
November,  1602,  when  the  said  Lord  Spynie,  accompanied  only 
by  his  wife,  bairns,  and  three  or  four  servants,  was  in  his  own 
dwelling  place  of  Kinblethmont,  and  without  armour,  the  said 
Master  of  Ogilvie,  with  Sir  John,  Mr  David,  Mr  Francis,  and  Mr 
George,  his  brothers,  Baron  Reid,  younger  of  Strathardill,  and  his 
brother,  Leonard  Robertson,  Patrick  Guthrie,  son  of  Robert 
Guthrie,  sometime  of  Kinblethmont,  and  others,  resolvit  upon 
ane  nicht  attack  upon  the  said  hous,  be  a  maist  detestable  and 
unlauchful  ingyne  ef  weir  callit  the  pittart  (petard).  That  nicht 
the  said  defenders,  accompanied  be  an  force  of  their  freends  to  the 
nowmer  of  six  score  person  is  on  horse  and  foot  came  to  the  said 
hous,  and  not  only  brocht  with  them  the  said  detestable  ingyne 
the  pittart,  bot  lykwise  feilding  pieces,  for  beseigng  the  said 
place,  gin  the  pittart  shauld  fail.  Having  affixit  the  said  pittart 
to  the  principal  yett  of  the  said  place,  they  forcablie  blew  up  the 
said  yett  or  ever  the  personis  within  knew  of  their  being  thair, 
and  immediately  at  the  blowing  up  of  the  yettis  they  schot,  and 
dischargit  thair  feilding  pieces  at  the  windous  of  the  said  place  of 
purpose  to  have  slain  sic  personis,  as  upon  the  noise  of  the  blow- 
ing up  of  the  yett  should  cum  to  the  waindois  to  understand  what 
the  matter  meant.  And  so  finding  the  yetts  open  to  them  they 
ruscheit  in  the  said  hous  with  their  pistoles  and  drawn  weapons 
in  thair  hands.  They  then  serchit  the  said  hous  for  the  said 
Lord  and  his  wife  to  murder  them,  bot  be  the  provydence  of  God 
the  said  Lord  had  conveyed  himself  and  familie  out  of  the  said 
house.  Thereupon  they  assaltit  the  servandis  and  threatned  to 
t.ortor  them  gin  they  did  nocht  reveil  where  thir  master  was. 
They  endid  by  taking  the  hale  plenishing,  evidents,  gold  and 
silver  in  the  house." 


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82  Gaelic  Society  of  Inuerness. 

For  this  outrage  the  Ogilvies  and  Baron  Reid  were  again 
ordered  to  appear  before  the  Council,  but  failed,  so  their  sureties 
were  forfeited  and  the  King  denounced  them  rebels: — "Baron 
Reid,  younger  of  Strathardill,  and  Leonard  Robertson,  his 
brother,  being  charget  till  appear,  but  not  appearing,  therefor 
His  Majesty  commands  his  Heines  leiges  and  subjects  quatsomever 
that  nane  of  thame  ressett,  suplee,  intercommoun  with  the  said 
Baron  Reid,  younger,  and  Leonard  Robertson,  &c,  denouncit 
rebels,  and  put  to  the  horn  for  the  crymes  respective  aboun 
written,  nor  furnis  thame  meit,  drink,  hous,  nor  harbory,  ryde  nor 
gang  with  thame,  kype  trystis,  conventionis,  nor  meitings  with 
thame,  nor  assist,  nor  tak  pairt  with  thame  in  their  actions  and 
interpryssis  during  the  time  of  their  rebellion,  under  the  pain  of 
deid ;  certifying  thame  that  feilzes  that  they  sal  be  taken, 
apprendit,  and  punneishit  to  the  died  without  favour  or  mercy." 
To  us,  who  are  now  accustomed  to  see  the  sentences  of  the  law 
carried  out,  this  seems  rather  a  formidable  sentence,  but  the 
Master  of  Ogilvie  and  the  Baron  Reid  simply  paid  no  heed 
whatever  to  it,  but  went  on  their  way  in  search  of  new  adventures. 

1603. — Still  another  raid  on  Strathardle,  as  Andrew  Spalding 
of  Ashintullie  lodges  a  complaint  with  the  Privy  Council,  on 
February  8th,  against  John,  Earl  of  Montrose,  whose  men  had 
raided  his  lands  of  Ashintullie.  Andrew  Spalding  of  Ashintullie, 
and  his  son  David,  are,  as  usual,  tied  down  by  several  Acts  of 
Caution  this  year  not  to  harm  their  neighbours.  On  November 
15th  Andrew  Herring  of  Glasclune  and  his  sons  give  Angus 
Fergusson,  in  Easter  Cally,  a  charter  of  some  lands  there,  "  with 
their  moors,  fishings,  and  shealings  "  (Reg.  Mag.  Sig.  VI.,  2157). 

1605. — Kirkmichael,  the  capital  of  Strathardle,  is  a  very 
ancient  place,  and  in  the  days  o*  old  was  a  place  of  much  im- 
portance. At  the  very  dawn  of  Christianity  a  church  was  built 
there,  dedicated  to  St  Michael,  which,  of  course,  gave  it  its  name 
— Gill  MJiwheil — the  Cell  or  Kirk  of  St  Michael,  whose  day,  the 
Feill-Mhicheil — Feast  of  St  Michael — is  the  27th  September,  which 
is  still  commemorated  by  the  Kirkmichael  market.  We  have 
already  seen  that  in  King  Robert  Bruce's  charter  to  young  Neil 
Oampbell,  in  1314,  it  is  Killmychill,  but  it  also,  from  its  noted 
church,  got  several  other  clerical  names,  which  we  often  find  in 
different  deeds  about  this  time,  such  as  KirkhUl,  Kirkhillocks, 
Tom-an-t-Shagairt — the  Priest's  Hillock — and  Tom-a'-Chlachain — 
the  Hillock  of  the  Stones.  For  instance,  in  a  charter  to  David 
Spalding  of  Ashintullie,  which  shall  afterwards  be  given  in  full  at 
ts  date  in  1615,  we  read  : — "  Villas  et  terras  de  Kirktoun,  vulgo 


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Sketches  of  Strathardle.  83 

Kirkhillock,  alias  Tomchlachan."  This  last  name — "  The  Hillock 
of  the  Stones  " — is  the  most  ancient  of  all,  and  carries  us  back  to 
the  dim,  misty,  heathen  ages  when  the  Druids  worshipped  in  their 
circles  of  stones.  We  have  already  seen  in  the  beginning  of  this 
history  of  Strathardle  that  it  is  the  most  noted  district  in  Britain 
for  Druidical  remains,  and  Chalmers,  in  his  "Caledonia,"  says  : — 
"  In  Kirkmichael,  Parish  of  Strathardle,  *  the  distinguished  site  of 
Druid  remains  in  North  Britain,'  there  are  a  number  of  Druid 
cairns  in  the  vicinity  of  Druidical  circles  and  other  remains." 
Well,  one  of  these  Druidical  circles  stood  at  Tom-a-Chlachan — 
the  Hillock  of  Stones — where  the  Manse  of  Kirkmichael  now 
stands,  and  there  two  thousand  years  ago  our  rude  ancestors 
worshipped,  according  to  their  faith,  in  their  circle  of  stones,  and 
there,  as  elsewhere,  when  the  pioneers  of  Christianity  came  to  the 
-district,  they  found  it  expedient  to  place  their  new  church  where 
the  old  circle  of  stones  had  stood,  so  the  first  church  of  St  Michael 
was  reared  where  the  old  clachan  stood,  on  what  the  natives 
already  considered  holy  ground. 

Colonel  Robertson,  in  his  "  Gaelic  Topography  of  Scotland," 
page  261,  says — "The  next  prefix  is  one  of  much  interest,  as  it 
is  such  clear  proof  that  almost  all  the  names  were  given  in 
heathen  times.  It  is  that  of  clack  and  clachan,  meaning  a  "  stone" 
^,nd  a  "  circle  of  stones."  But  clachan,  besides  meaning  that  last, 
is  a  distinctive  appellation  for  a  fane  or  place  where  heathen 
worship  was  held.  Since  Christianity  was  introduced,  churches 
came  to  be  built  where  the  pagan  stone  circles  had  existed  ;  and, 
still  later,  in  many  cases  where  the  clachans  had  been,  houses,  as 
well  as  a  church,  came  to  be  built,  and  so  these  not  acquainted 
with  Gaelic,  fancied  clachan  meant  a  hamlet  or  village,  which  is  a 
mistake.  There  is  an  expression  still  used  by  the  Highlanders 
which  has  reference  to  the  point  now  spoken  of,  and  which  proves 
very  strongly  the  Gaelic  language  of  the  present  day  being  the 
same  as  spoken  by  the  heathen  Caledonian.  This  is  in  the 
expression  employed  in  asking  the  question  as  to  going  to  a  place 
of  worship,  when  it  is  common  to  say,  Am  bheil  thu  'dol  do'n 
chlachan,  the  meaning  being,  "  Are  you  going  *  to  the  stones.' " 
No  reference  to  a  church,  but  "  to  the  stones."  From  whence  is 
it  possible  for  this  expression  to  have  arisen  except  it  had  been  in 
use  by  the  heathen  ancestors  of  the  Highlanders  when  going  to 
their  stone  circles,  stones  of  sacrifice,  and  others  dedicated  to  their 
deities  ?  and,  of  course,  the  meaning  of  the  expression  is,  "  Are 
you  going  to  the  worship  to  be  held  at  the  stones  of  sacrifice  and 
.such  like." 


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84  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

Kirkmichael  was  at  a  very  early  date  made  a  free  burgh  of 
barony,  as  I  find  in  a  charter  of  this  date  (1605)  the  lands  of 
Kirkmichael,  Balnauld,  and  Bain ak ill e  (the  latter  also  taking  its 
name  from  the  church — baile-na-cille — the  town  or  place  of  the 
church,  cemetery,  or  burial-ground),  spoken  of  as  "anciently- 
erected  into  a  free  burgh  of  barony."  The  good  folk  of  Kirk- 
michael may  well  be  proud  of  their  ancient  burgh,  and  though 
the  tide  of  its  prosperity  for  a  time  ebbed  to  rather  low  water^ 
still,  now  when  that  tide  has  returned,  and  is  flowing  so  strongly 
and  rapidly  towards  high  water,  I  feel  confident  that  the  good  old 
burgh  will  very  soon  surpass  all  its  ancient  grandeur  and  become 
a  thriving  and  populous  town,  as  well  as  become  the  capital  of 
bonnie  Strathardle. 

The  charter  I  have  just  mentioned  of  Kirkmichael,  <fec,  was 
granted  by  King  James  VI.  to  Lord  John  Wemyis  and  his  son, 
David  Wemyis,  a  family  who  for  long  before  and  after  this  held 
tLo  lands  of  Mill  of  Werie,  above  Kirkmichael.  I  may  give  the 
L  llowing  extract  from  this  charter,  as  it  is  given  in  the  "  Register 
of  the  Great  Seal  of  Scotland":— "27  January  1605.  Rex  con- 
cessit et  pro  bono  servito  Dominus  Joannis  Wemyis  de  eodem 
militis,  de  novo  dedit  Davidi  Wemyis  filio  maximo  natu,  et  heredi 
apparenti  dicti  Dominus  .  .  .  Villas  Kirkhill — Kirmichael, 
Ballinkellie  et  Ballinnald,  ab  antiquo  in  liberos  bur  go  baronia 
erecta"  The  Lord  Wemyis'  reign  over  Kirkmichael,  &c,  however^ 
was  only  a  short  one  of  ten  years,  as  we  will  soon  see  that  in  1615, 
when  David  Spalding  got  his  lands  of  Ashintullie  erected  into  a 
free  barony,  he,  along  with  many  others,  got  the  lands  of  Kirk- 
michael, Ballnakillie,  and  Balnald  added  to  Ashintullie. 

With  all  the  trouble  that  the  Privy  Council  had  with  the 
fighting  lairds  of  Strathardle,  one  would  think  the  Council  would 
rather  discourage  war  and  fighting ;  instead  of  that,  we  find  them 
passing  a  special  Act  on  January  3rd  of  this  year,  binding  the 
Strath  lairds,  under  heavy  penalties,  to  buy  arms  from  John,  Earl 
of  Atholl,  and  Sir  Robert  Crychtoun  of  Cluny,  as  follows : — 
"George  Maxwell,  son  and  heir  of  the  late  John  Maxwell  of  Bal- 
girsho,  for  John  Rory  in  Balmacrochie,  John  Mustard  there,. 
Thomas  Fergusson  in  Balmacrochie,  John  Bryson  in  Easter 
Dalnabric,  John  Schaw  in  Wester  Dalnabric,  John  Keill  M'Allane 
there,  Allastair  Bryson  at  the  Mill  of  Pitcarmick,  William  Mawis 
there,  John  Schaw  there,  Thomas  Murray  in  Balnabroich,  DonaJd 
Dowlie  in  the  Merkland,  Andrew  Reid  in  Balmy le,  John  Stewart 
there,  Robert  Rory  there,  Allastair  Stewart  in  Wester  Ballamaines, 
James  Crichton  in  Bleaton,  John  Murray  there,  Donald  Spalding, 


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Sketches  of  Strathardle.  8S 

in  Enoch,  Donald  Harper  there,  John  Adaine  in  the  Lair,  Richard 
M'Ewan  Dowy,  Lachlan  Farquharson  in  Bruchdearg,  James  Spalding 
in  Corydon,  and  AUastair  Rattray  in  Mill  of  Enoch,  each  of  them 
to  buy  from  John,  Earl  of  Atholl,  and  Sir  Robert  Crychton  of 
Cluny  such  quantity  of  arms  as  it  shall  be  found  they  ought  to 
buy,  under  the  pain  of  £50  for  each  stand." 

Tt  was  well  for  the  Strathardle  men  that  they  got  their  new 
arms,  and  also  that  they  could  use  them  so  well,  for  immediately 
after  their  old  enemies,  the  Campbells  of  Glenlyon,  under  their 
young  chief,  Duncan  Campbell,  apparent  of  Glenlyon,  made  a 
sudden  raid  on  Glenshee  and  the  Braes  of  Ardle,  when  some 
desperate  fighting  took  place ;  but  the  Campbells,  being  a  very 
strong  party,  got  off  with  the  spoil,  by  slipping  quickly  out  of  the 
country,  up  Glenderby  and  by  Logierait  and  Strathtay,  into  the 
Breadalbane  country,  before  the  Strathardle  men,  who  were  mostly 
all  away  at  a  great  wedding  at  the  lower  end  of  the  Strath,  could 
be  gathered  to  pursue  them.  Spalding  of  Ashintullie  complained 
to  the  Kinjr,  and  the  Captaiu  of  the  Guard  "was  orderit  to  hae 
Duncan  Campbell,  apparent  of  Glenlyon,  and  his  associates  appra- 
hendit  for  stealing  frae  William  M'Nicoll  in  Little  Fortere  70  head 
of  oxen  and  kye  out  of  Rowenry  in  Glensche ;  and  44  oxen  grazing 
n  Glen  Tirrie  belonging  to  Spalding  of  Ashintullie." 

1606. — The  Spaldings  of  Ashintullie  being  at  feud  with 
Chalmers  of  Drumlochy,  they  assaulted  him  in  his  place  of 
Cloquhat,  and  did  a  lot  of  damage  there.  Drumlochy  complained 
to  the  Privy  Council,  and  the  Spaldings  were  ordered  to  appear, 
but  of  course  did  not,  so  on  March  20th  the  Council  decreed  : — 
•"  That  A.  Spalding  and  uthers  being  persewed  be  Drumlochie  for 
oppressioun  and  not  compeirand  decreit  is  given  against 
thame,  and  they  are  ordainit  to  be  chargit — be  oppin  proclama- 
tion at  the  Mercut  Crpce  of  Perth,  because  they  are  brokin 
hielandmen — to  enter  in  wardie  within  XV.  days*  under  paine 
of  rebellion."  As  usual  they  paid  no  heed  to  the  terrors  of  the  law. 
As  this  was  the  golden  age  of  cattle-lifting  in  Athole,  when  every- 
one either  "  lifted  "  or  "  was  lifted,"  it  is  only  natural  that  some 
men  would  come  to  the  front  and  shine  above  their  fellows  in  this 
exciting  and,  as  it  was  then  reckoned,  honourable  profession.  The 
old  song  says  of  Rob  Roy  : — 

"  Let  England  boast  her  Robin  Hood, 
Auld  Scotland  had  a  thief  as  good." 

Now,  if  we  change  the  word  Scotland  into  Strathardle,  Athole, 
Lochaber,  or  almost  any  other  district  in  the  Highlands,  we  find  it 


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! 


86  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

equally  applicable,  most  districts  haviDg  had  "  a  thief  as  good  "  of 
their  own.  Strathardle's  foremost  thief  who  flourished  at  this  time 
was  the  famous  Iain  Dhu  MacSheoc — John  Dhu  M'Jokie  or  Spald- 
ing, in  Bleaton,  who  is  described  in  the  Privy  Council  Records 
(Vol.  VIII.,  p.  274)  as  "  Johnne  Dow  M'Jokie  alias  Spalding,  in 
Bleaton,  a  notorious  thief"  It  was  this  MacSheoc  or  M'Jokie,. 
"the  Son  of  Little  John,"  that  first  originated  the  well-known 
Strathardle  proverb: — "Mur  biodh  rau'n  phoit  ach  MacSheoc's  an 
liadh  " — "  If  there  were  none  about  the  pot  but  MacJokie  and  the 

ladle ."     The  origin  of  this  proverb  was  at  a  great  feast  given 

by  the  chief  of  the  Spalding9  at  his  Castle  of  Ashintully,  to  which 
not  only  the  Spaldings  were  invited,  but  also  the  Baron  Ruadh, 
Small  of  Dirnanean,  Rattray  of  Dalrulzion,  and  all  the  other  great 
men  of  the  Strath.  After  the  dinner  was  over,  M'Jokie,  who  had 
been  away  on  some  of  his  cattle-lifting  expeditions,  arrived  on  the 
scene,  and  the  chief  of  Ashintullie,  with  whom  he  was  a  great 
favourite,  at  once  proceeded  to  get  him  some  food,  and  offered  him 
his  choice  of  all  left  on  the  table.  M'Jokie,  looking  round,  espied 
a  large  pot  sitting  beside  the  great  hall  fire,  containing  some 
warm  broth,  which  he  at  once  lifted  on  to  a  side  table, 
and,  getting  hold  of  a  large  silver  ladle,  he  proceeded  to 
help  himself  therewith  out  of  the  pot.  Ashintullie  also 
brought  him  a  huge  sirloin  of  beef,  and  as  he  did  not  see  a 
carving  knife  about  he  drew  his  own  richly  mounted  silver  dirk 
and  laying  it  beside  the  beef  told  M'Jokie  to  help  himself  when 
ready,  and  passed  on  to  attend  to  his  other  guests.  Now  it  so 
happened  that  a  very  near  relation  of  Ashintullie's,  who  had  long 
coveted  his  beautiful  dirk,  happened  to  come  the  way,  and  seeing 
the  dirk  lying  there,  and  as  all  the  other  guests  were  otherwise 
engaged,  and  M'Jokie  exceedingly  busy  with  his  ladle,  with  his 
head  deep  down  in  the  huge  pot,  he  could  not  resist  the  tempta- 
tion, so  he  quietly  lifted  the  dirk  and  slipped  it  into  the  folds  of 
his  plaid.  Ashintullie  coming  round  soon  after  missed  his  dirk 
and  asked  M'Jokie  for  it,  who  truly  told  him  he  knew  nothing 
about  it.  The  hot  and  hasty  Chief  did  not  believe  this,  and  at 
once  got  in  a  towering  passion  and  accused  M'Jokie  of  stealing 
his  dirk,  and  it  very  likely  would  have  ended  in  his  usual  way  of 
settling  these  matters,  by  instantly  ordering  M'Jokie  to  be 
hanged,  had  not  Small  of  Dirnanean,  a  very  shrewd,  observant 
gentleman,  who  had  seen  the  whole  performance  from  a  quiet 
corner,  stepped  forward,  and  laying  his  hand  on  Ashintullie's 
shoulder,  said — "Mur  biodh  mu'n  phoit  ach  Mac  Sheoc  's  an 
liadh  " — "  If  there  were  none  about  the  pot  but  M'Jokie  and  the 


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Sketches  of  Strathardle.  87 

ladle  " — then  he  gave  the  guilty  man  a  long,  steady  look  which 
made  him  look  very  guilty  and  confused,  and  Ashintullie  at  once 
guessing  how  matters  stood,  finished  the  sentence  by  adding — 
"  cha  robh  mo  bhiocjag  air  chall  " — "  then  my  dirk  had  not  been 
lost,"  and  not  wishing  to  bring  public  disgrace  on  his  own  family, 
he  turned  away  and  ordered  his  piper  to  strike  up  a  Highland 
reel,  and  very  curiously,  when  the  dance  was  ended,  the  dirk  was 
found  stuck  upright  in  the  sirloin  of  beef,  and  after  that  all  was 
mirth  and  fun  ;  and  ever  since  that  night,  when  one  loses  anything 
and  does^not  like  publicly  to  accuse  their  neighbour,  they  use  the 
careful,  canny  expression  of  the  old  laird  of  Dirnanean — "  If  there 
were  none  about  the  pot  but  M'Jokie  and  the  ladle" — and,  like 
him,  they  leave  the  rest  unsaid. 

We  must  now  leave  Black  John  Spalding  of  Strathardle,  for 
Black  John  Stewart  of  Atholl — "  a  thief  as  good  "  if  not  better 
than  M'Jokie  himself — who  also  flourished  at  this  time,  and  who 
got  into  trouble  this  .year.  He  was  the  notorious  Ian  Dhu 
M'Gillecallum,  Black  John  Stewart  of  Auchinarkmoir,  who,  along 
with  his  brothers  Neil  and  Allistair,  were  the  most  daring  cattle- 
lifters  that  ever  wore  the  Atholl  tartan,  and  that  is  saying  a  great 
deal,  as  the  district  at  this  time  swarmed  with  daring  cattle-lifters. 
We  read  in  "  Chambers'  Domestic  Annals  "  : — "  Atholl  of  auld  was 
most  quiet  and  peaceable,  and  inhabit  by  a  number  of  civil  and 
answerable  gentlemen,  professed  and  avowed  enemies  of  thieves, 
robbers,  and  oppressors.  It  now  had  become  very  louss  and 
broken,  an  ordinary  resett  for  the  thieves  and  broken  men  of  the 
north  and  south  Highlands,  and  moreover  a  nowmer  of  the  native 
people,  sic  as  John  Dow  M'Gillecallum,  and  his  complices,  shakin 
aff  ail  fear  of  God  and  reverence  for  his  Majesty  and  the  laws,  ar 
become  maist  insolent,  committin  wild  detestable  murthers,  open 
reifFs,  privy  stoutrie,  barbarous  houghing  and  goring  off  oxen,  and 
uther  enormities."  John  Dhu  was  a  great  favourite  with  everyone 
in  Atholl  from  the  Earl  downwards,  as  he  was  very  brave,  and 
kind-hearted  to  the  poor,  and  ever  ready  to  avenge,  with  interest, 
any  raid  on  the  district  by  neighbouring  clans,  so  he  was  aided 
and  resetted  by  the  Earl  and  all  the  gentlemen  of  Atholl,  especially 
in  Strathardle  by  the  Baron  Ruadh  of  Straloch. 

So  notorious  had  John  Dhu  become  that  we  at  this  time  find 
the  King  writing  from  London  about  him  to  the  Chancellor  of 
Scotland,  the  Earl  of  Dunfermline,  *nd  other  Privy  Councillors  : — 
"Whitehall,  Dec.  10th,  L606. — Richt  trustie  and  well-beloved 
cosins  and  Councellouris,  wee  grite  you  heartily  well : — Whereas 
wee  are  certified  of  the  mony  detestable  villanyies  and  murthers 


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$8  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness 

committit  by  John  Dow  Mack  Gyllychallum  Stewart  in  Atholl, 
and  herewith  being  surely  enformed  that  he  is  resette  and 
ordinarily  entertainit  by  Baron  Reid  in  Atholl,  Allester  Tarlach- 
son  of  Inchmagreunich,  Neil  Stewart  M 'Gyllychallum,  brother  to 
the  said  John  Dow,  and  Neil  Stewart  of  Fosse,  thereupon  wee 
have  thought  good  to  will  and  require  you,  that  yee  give  present 
order  for  the  apprehension  of  these  four  persons,  resetters  and 
entertainers  of  the  said  John  Dow  Mack  Gyllychallum,  and  upon 
their  taking,  that  \ee  presentlie  committe  thame  to  sorqe  warde 
and  prison,  there  to  remain  till  the  said  John  Dow  be  exhibited 
and  produced  before  you  for  their  relief  out  of  warde.  Which 
being  done,  yee  shall  then  certify  us  thereof,  to  the  effect  we  may 
signify  our  further  pleasour,  and  will  concearning  the  aforesaid 
fower  personis  also,  and  remitting  the  same  to  your  special  cair 
and  deligence  wee  bid  you  heartily  farewell." — Records  Privy- 
Council,  Vol.  VIII.,  p.  504.  On  the  receipt  of  this  letter,  the 
Privy  Council  at  once  ordered  the  Earl  of  Atholl  to  produce  the 
Baron  Ruadh,  and  the  other  three  gentlemen  named,  before  them, 
but  he  refused  to  do  so. 

1607. — Though  warned  several  times,  the  Earl  of  Atholl  still 
refused  to  give  up  the  Baron  Ruadh,  and  other  resetters  of  John 
Dhu,  so  the  Privy  Council  denounced  him  a  rebel,  and  passed  a 
special  Act  not  to  relieve  him  of  his  rebellion  till  he  surrendered 
himself  to  them  in  the  Castle  of  Edinburgh.  The  Council 
answered  the  King's  letter  as  follows: — "  Anent  the.  state  of  the 
Heylandis,  we  haif  not  had  any  great  insolence  thair  this  long 
tymc.  Yitt  upoun  the  first  bruite  thereof  and  your  Majestie's 
directions  thairanent  delyverit  be  your  Majestie's  Secretair  at  his 
returning,  they  directit  chairges  against  the  Earl  of  Athole  for 
exhibition  of  the  criminals,  and  in  respect  of  his  dissobedyence 
after  two  continuations  granted  unto  him,  he  is  denouncit  and 
registered  to  the  home,  and  ane  Act  made  that  no  suspension  sal 
be  grantit  till  he  first  enter  in  warde  within  the  Castell  of  Edin- 
burgh."— Records  Privy  Council,  Vol.  VII.,  page  508. 

As  the  Privy  Council  strongly  enforced  the  Act  of  rebellion 
against  the  Earl  of  Atholl,  he  had  "  to  enter  himself  in  warde, 
within  the  Castell  of  Edinburgh,"  and  when  the  King  a\hs 
informed  of  his  surrender,  he  wrote  again  to  the  Council  as 
follows  :--  Feb.  21st,  1607.  "  Quhairas  we  understand  that  the 
Earl  of  Atholl  is  committit  to  warde  in  the  Castell  of  Edii* burgh 
for  not  exhibiting  before  you  of  John  Dow  McGyllychallum,  and 
certain  other  broken  men,  and  sorneris  having  thair  stay,  resi- 
dence, and  common  resett  within  the  boundis  of  Atholl,  we  have 

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Sketches  of  Strathardle.  89 

"therefore  thocht  meete  to  signify  unto  you  our  will  and  pleasour, 
that  not  onlie  would  we  have  you  detain  the  said  Earl  of  Atholl 
still  in  wardt>,  and  upon  no  condition  ony  way  relieve  him  furth 
thereof,  till  first  these  broken  men  for  which  he  is  chargit  be 
enterit,  bot  that  you  also  call  the  chief  gentlemen  and  principal 
men  of  quality  within  the  boundis  of  Atholl  before  you,  and  such 
of  thame  as  ather  ar  justilie  suspectit  of  ony  re sett  of  these  broken 
men,  or  whose  stealling  may  mak  them  be  presented,  we  would 
liave  to  be  committit  to  some  of  your  prisons,  in  lyke  manner 
therein  to  remain  quhill  be  the  dilligence  of  their  friendis  and 
servandis  that  our  countrie  may  be  purged  from  keeping  within  it 
ony  of  such  dissobedyent  subjectis,  and,  willing  you  upon  no 
respect  without  exhibition  of  these  people  to  grant  ony  favour, 
herein  we  bid  you  richt  heartily  farewell." — Records  Privy 
-Council,  VII.,  page  511.  As  John  Dhu  M'Gillecallum  could  not 
be  captured,  the  Earl  of  Atholl  was  kept  on  a  prisoner  in  Edin- 
burgh for  over  a  year,  till  the  King  saw  that  his  detention  did 
no  good.  Then  he  sent  for  the  Earl  to  Court,  and  gave  him  a 
great  lecture,  and  sent  him  back  to  Atholl  to  try  and  pacify  the 
country.  Meantime  the  Privy  Council  appointed  a  guard  or 
watch  over  Atholl,  to  try  and  keep  the  peace,  and  James  Gordon 
of  Lismore  undertook  to  apprehend  John  Dhu  M'Gdlecallum  and 
his  brother  Allister,  "  and  at-  length  he  lichtit  upon  the  limmers, 
an  after  a  lang  an  het  combat,  and  the  slaughter  of  fower  or  five 
of  the  principal  of  thame,  the  said  Allister  was  apprendid,  and 
John  Dhu,  being  very  evill  hurt,  by  the  darkness  of  the  nicht 
escapit."  Allister,  who  had  many  murders  on  his  head,  was 
brought  to  Edinburgh,  and  in  spite  of  all  the  efforts  of  his  friends, 
was  tried  and  hanged 

1609. — When  the  Earl  of  Atholl  was  sent  back  by  the  King, 
after  being  so  long  in  ward  in  Edinburgh  Castle,  to  Atholl,  he 
found  the  district  so  disturbed,  and  his  estates  so  much  in  debt, 
that  he  offered  to  sell  his  earldom  to  the  King,  who,  however, 
thought  the  debt  too  heavy,  so  His  Majesty  chose  Lord  Blantyre 
for  the  bargain.  Atholl  got  a  lot  of  money  from  Lord  Blantyre, 
and  then  escaped  from  his  lordship's  house,  where  he  was  placed 
in  custody  till  the  agreement  would  be  settled,  and  returned  to 
Atholl.  Upon  hearing  this,  the  King  at  once  ordered  Atholl  to 
be  again  apprehended,  and  recompense  to  be  made  to  Lord 
Blantyre  for  the  money  advanced  to  Athoil,  and  the  King  wrote 
again  to  the  Privy  Council,  as  follows  : — "  Whitehall,  March  7tl«, 
1609. — Richt  trustie  and  weill-belovit  cosins  and  councellors  we 
greete   you   weele  : — '  The   disourderit  estate  of  the  boundis  of 


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90  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

At holl,  and  the  daily  increase  and  growth  of  brokin  men  ard 
sornaris  committing  divers  insolences  and  outrages  lx>th  within 
that  bound  is,  and  als  in  the  neighbouring  pairts  moved  us  to  com- 
mit the  Earl  of  Atholl  (who  be  his  place  ought  to  haif  remedit  the 
same)  in  warde  within  our  Castell  of  Edinburgh.  Bot  finding  his 
retaining  to  procure  small  amendment,  we  did  therefore  send  for 
him  to  our  Courts  «fcc.,  <fcc.'  "  The  letter  then  goes  on  to  tell  of 
the  bargain  with  Lord  Blantyre,  and  of  Atholl's  escape,  and  orders 
him  to  be  apprehended  again. 

1610. — Two  days  were  appointed  for  Atholl  to  appear  before 
the  Privy  Council,  but  he  paid  no  heed,  but  lived  with  his  friends 
in  Atholl,  the  chief  of  whom  was  the  Baron  Ruadh,  our  old  friend 
the  Baron  Cutach,  and  upon  this  being  reported  to  the  Council, 
the  Baron  and  others  were  denounced  rebels,  as  will  be  seen  by 
the  following: — "August  1610. — Complaint  by  Sir  Thomas- 
Hamilton  for  His  Majestie's  interest  that  notwithstanding  the 
proclomation  made  at  the  Mercat  Croces  of  Banff  and  Perth, 
discharging  the  leiges  from  resetting  on  intercommuniug  with 
James  Earl  of  Atholl,  wl  o  had  been  put  to  the  horn  28th  Febru- 
ary and  7th  March,  1609,  for  not  appearing  before  the  Council 
to  answer  for  escaping  from  Walter  Lord  Blantyre,  to  whose 
custody  he  had  been  committed  by  His  Majestie's  direction,  yet 
John  Cummison  of  Edradour,  Johnne  Robertson  of  Straloche,  and 
Donald  Reid  in  Logierait,  have  at  divers  times  since  the  said 
denunciation  resetted  and  entertained  the  said  Earl  in  their 
houses  as  if  he  were  a  free  man.  Defenders  for  not  appearing  to 
be  denounced  rebels."     Records  Privy  Council,  Vol.  IX.-113. 

The  Baron  Ruadh  also  got  into  trouble  at  the  same  time  for 
rescuing  our  old  friend  of  the  ladle — John  Dhu  M'Jokie  or 
Spalding,  from  the  Murrays,  who  had  been  sent  to  Strathardle  to 
apprehend  him  by  their  Chief  William,  Master  of  Tullybardine, 
Sheriff  Principal  of  Perthshire  : — "  David  Spalding  of  Eschentullie 
appears  as  procurator  for  John  Robertson  of  Straloch,  and  gives 
in  a  copy  of  letters  raised  by  William,  Master  of  Tullybardine, 
Sheriff  Principal  of  Perthshire,  charging  Robertson  to  appear  per- 
sonally this  day,  and  bring  with  him  Johnne  Dow  M'Jokie  alias 
Spalding,  in  Bleaton,  a  notorious  thief,  and  also  to  answer  a  com- 
plaint by  the  said  Sheriff  for  taking  the  said  John  Dow  off  the 
hands  of  David  and  Thomas  Murray's  in  Strathairdill  while  they 
were  bringing  him  to  the  Sheriff.  The  said  procurators  having 
enterict  the  said  John  Dow,  protests  in  respect  to  the  absence  of 
the  Sheriff  that  Robertson  shall  not  be  held  to  answer  further  in 
this  matter  till  newly  warned  :  and  the  Lords  admit  the  protest." 


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Sketches  of  Strathardle.  91 

Records  Privy  Council,  Vol.  VIII.-274.  No  sooner  was  this  rest- 
less Baron  Cutach  out  of  one  scrape  or  skirmish  than  he  was  into 
another ;  so  we  next  find  him  along  with  Farquharson  of  Inver- 
cauld,  and  other  five  gentlemen  of  the  Clan  Farquharson,  engaged 
in  a  raid,  in  which  they  slaughtered  James  Clerk  in  Auldranie. 
Clerk's  widow  appealed  to  the  Privy  Council  against  the 
"  slauchterers"  of  her  husband,  though  she  does  not  seem  to  have 
mourned  very  long  for  him,  a<j  we  find  her  married  to  another  in 
a  few  months.  According  to  Pitcairn's  Criminal  Trials,  the  Baron 
and  the  Farquharson's  were : — "  Dilaitit  of  airt  and  pairt  of  the 
slauchter  of  umqle  James  Clerk  in  Auldranie  committit  in  anno 
1610.  Compeirit  Thomas  Sinclair  and  Robert  Auchinleck  as  pro- 
curators speciallie  constitute  be  Elespeth,  now  the  relict,  and  be 
Andro  Howie,  now  his  spous,  for  his  enteries,  <fcc,  «fco. — And  in 
name  and  at  command  of  the  said  Elspeth,  and  hir  spous,  past 
simplicitir  fra  the  persute  of  the  haill  personis  or  pannells,  &c,  &c. 
The  pannells  protests  that  thai  wer  nane  of  thame,  be  callit  on 
persewit  for  the  said  allegit  slauchter  in  ony  tyme  coming."  No 
doubt  the  Council  thought  that  Elspeth  did  not  deserve  com- 
pensation for  her  first  husband,  when  she  got  a  second  in  a  few 
months,  so  they  took  no  more  notice  of  the  case. 

At  this  time  and  for  three  years  after  we  also  find  David 
Spalding  of  Ashintullie  once  more  in  trouble  with  the  Privy 
Council  for  harbouring  and  resetting  Alexander  Ruthven  of  Free- 
land,  who,  along  with  the  whole  race  of  Ruthven,  was  outlawed 
by  King  James  for  the  Gowrie  conspiracy.  Spalding  had  to 
appear  four  times  before  the  Council — "  for  the  allegit  tressonabie 
resetting,  supplying  and  maintaining  of  Alex.  Ruthven,  His 
Majestie's  declared  tratour,  within  his  dwelling  places  of  Essin- 
tullie  and  Enoche."  Pitcairn's  Criminal  Trials,  Vol.  III.  p  72. 
As  there  was  no  evidence  against  Spalding,  these  trials  were 
always  adjourned,  and  at  last  were  quietly  dropped. 

1611. — We  have  already  seen  that  the  Clan  Fergusson  held 
most  of  the  lands  in  Middle  Strathardle  and  the  third  part  of 
Glenshee,  and  we  now  find  Finlay  Fergusson  of  Baledmund 
getting  a  charter  of  most  part  of  Glenbrierachan. — Records  of  the 
Clan  Fergusson,  page  91  :— "The  original  Feu-charter  of  Bal- 
edmund is  dated  17th  Dec.  1611,  and  by  it  Sir  Arch.  Stewart  of 
Syunart,  Knight,  conveys  all  and  whole  the  forty-shilling  land 
of  Baledmund  with  the  three  pendicles  of  Glenbrierachan  on  the 
east  part  of  Edraharvie,  called  the  funny  runrig  of  Tomquhollan, 
and  other  two  pendicles  called  the  east  part  of  the  Glen,  vulgarly, 
the  est  end  of  the  Glen,  and  the  sheilings  called  Ruichragan, 


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92  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

Ruicraigvrackie,  and  the  half  of  Ruibaslintuirk,  and  siclike  all 
and  whole  the  twenty-shilling  eightpenny  land  of  the  west  end  of 
the  Haugh  of  Dalshian,  &c,  in  favour  of  Finlay  Fergusson  of 
Baledmund,  his  heirs  and  assignees."  Sasine  was  taken  on  16th 
January,  1612. 

1613. — At  this  time  the  cruel  laws  against  the  persecuted 
Clan  Gregor,  were  carried  out  with  great  vigour,  and  we  find  a 
great  many  of  the  leading  gentlemen  of  Atholl  and  Strathardle, 
especially  of  the  Clan  Fergusson,  very  heavily  fined  for  resetting 
them,  and  supplying  them  with  food  and  shelter.  Amongst 
others,  we  find  our  old  friend  the  Baran  Cutach  of  Straloch  fined 
2000  merks.  I  think  the  bold  Baron  and  the  other  gentlemen  of 
Strathardle  deserve  great  credit  for  doing  so  much  and  suffering 
so  much  for  Clan  Gregor,  considering  that  only  eleven  years  had 
passed  since  the  Macgregors  in  strong  force  assisted  Keppoch  and 
his  M 'Ranalds  in  their  great  raid  on  Strathardle,  when  they 
carried  off  2700  cattle,  and  killed  fifteen  gentlemen  of  the  Strath. 
The  following  are  the  names  and  amount  of  fines,  from  the  Privy 
Council  Records,  Vol.  X.,  page  148:—"  Sept.  15th,  1613.  For- 
samckle  as  the  resetts  and  supplie  which  the  infamous  theives  and 
lymmairis  of  the  Clangregour  hes  had  in  divers  pairtes  of  the 

countrie According    whereto    the    Commissioners 

within  the  scheriffdom  of  Perth,  hes  desceruit,  adjudgit,  and  fynit 
the  persons  particularly  underwritten,  and  every  one  of  them  in 
the  soumes  of  money  following  : — Adam  Fergusson  in  Drum- 
fernate,  100  merks  ;  Allaster  Fergusson  in  Ballvoulin,  200  merks; 
Donald  Fergusson  in  Inchndow,  ,£100  ;  John  Fergusson  of  the 
Haugh,  .£50  ;  Thomas  Fergusson  of  Ballyoukiu,  500  merks  ; 
Adam  Fergusson  of  Ballichandie,  300  merks  ;  John  Fergusson  of 
Inch,  50  merks  :  Patrick  Stewart  of  Straloch,  1000  merks  ;  Charles 
Fleming  there,  100  merks  ;  Allaster  Stewart  M William  M'Neil  in 
Straloch,  500  merks;  Walter  Rattray  of  Borland,  200  merks  ; 
Allaster  M'Intailzeour  in  Glenbrierachan,  £100  ;  John  Moncrieff 
in  Edraharvie,  500  merks  ;  John  Robertson  of  Straloch,  alias 
Baron  Reid,  2000  merks."  The  Baron  Cutach's  usual  smartness  in 
getting  out  of  difficulties  failed  him  on  this  occasion,  as  he  "  was 
fynit,  and  every  one  of  thame,  in  the  soumes  of  monie  mentioned." 
So  the  Baron  paid  the  fine,  and  with  the  assistance  of  the  Mac- 
gregors, he  very  soon  repaid  himself  with  full  interest  by  raids  on 
his  foes,  Celtic  and  Saxon. 

Now,  though  we  have  had  to  deal  with  nothing  but  wars  and 
rumours  of  wars  in  Strathardle  for  a  long  time,  we  must  not  con- 
clude that  the  arts  of  peace  were  totally  neglected  there  during 


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Sketches  of  Strathardle.  93 

those  troublous  times,  and  it  is  pleasant  to  record  that  early  in 
this  year,  the  minister  of  the  parish  of  Rattray,  who  was  John 
Rattray,  of  the  family  of  Craighall,  petitioned  the  Privy  Council 
to  get  a  bridge  built  over  the  river  at  Craighall.  A  great  many 
lives  were  being  continually  lost  there  when  the  river  was  in  flood,, 
and  as  the  pass  is  so  very  narrow,  there  could  be  no  traffic  pass 
except  when  the  river  was  very  low,  and  this  being  the  only 
entrance  to  Strathardle,  and  one  of  the  great  passes  into  the  High- 
lands, a  bridge  was  urgently  needed  there.  The  good  minister's 
petition  says  : — "  In  stormy  weather  there  is  no  ford,  and  very  oft, 
for  the  space  of  aucht  days  together,  all  passage  of  the  water, 
either  by  boat,  horse,  or  foot,  is  interupted,  to  the  great  hinder  of 
His  Majesty's  subjects,  and  to  the  extreme  hazard  of  many  of 
their  lives,  of  whom,  during  the  time  the  supplicand  has  attended 
the  Kirk  of  Rattray,  auchteen  persons  to  his  knowledge  have 
perished  in  that  water."  The  petition  was  successful ;  an  order 
was  issue.d  for  a  general  subscription  to  build  a  bridge,  and  it  was. 
built  this  year,  and  it  proved  one  of  the  most  useful  and  beneficial 
things  ever  done  in  the  district. 

1615. — On  January  10th  of  this  year,  the  lands  of  Ashintullie- 
were  erected  into  a  free  barony  in  favour  of  David  Spalding,  with 
many  privileges,  amongst  which  were,  that  he  was  to  have  the  > 
ancient  free  burgh  of  Barony  of  Kirkmichael,  "  of  old  erected," 
with  the  privilege  of  holding  a  weekly  market  there,  to  be  held  on 
the  lands  of  Balnakille  and  Balnauld  I  may  here  mention  that 
for  over  two  centuries  these  weekly  markets  were  held  on 
the  march  between  these  two  lands  of  Balnakille  and  Bal~ 
nauld,  at  the  little  burn  that  crosses  the  road  half-way 
between  Kirkmichael  and  Balnauld,  and  as  it  became  the 
custom  at  these  markets  for  the  buyer  to  stand  on  one  side  of  the 
burn  and  the  seller  on  the  other,  and  as  all  monies  were  paid 
across  the  burn,  it  got  the  name  of  "  Allt-an-airgioid " — Money 
Burn,  or  as  it  is  more  commonly  called,  "  the  Siller  Burn,"  to  this 
day.  Spalding  also  got  the  privilege  of  holding  two  yearly  fairs 
on  the  same  lands.  One  of  these,  "  ane  yeerlie  free  ffair,  on  the 
penult  day  of  Sept.  callit  Michaelmas  ffair,"  which  was  to  last  for 
five  days,  was  the  origin  of  the  famous  "  Felll  Mhicheil,"  Michael- 
mas market,  which,  for  two  hundred  years,  was  the  greatest 
market  in  all  Scotland,  where  all  the  Highland  drovers  met  their 
customers  from  the  Lowlands,  who  came  there  to  buy  cattle  to 
carry  into  England  or  the  south  of  Scotland.  This  great  fair 
used  to  last  sometimes  for  a  fortnight  before  all  the  business  waa 
done,  during  which  time  many  hundreds  of  both  Highlanders  and 


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94  Gaelic  Society  of  Inuerness. 

Lowlanders  used  to  be  encamped  on  the  market  stance.  This 
continued  on  till  about  the  beginning  of  this  century,  when,  to  a 
great  extent,  Scotch  drovers  ceased  going  to  England  with  cattle, 
and  English  dealers  came  themselves  to  buy  the  Highland  cattle  ; 
and  as  they  grumbled  at  having  to  come  so  far  north  as  Kirk- 
michael,  the  Highlanders  compromised  the  matter  by  going  the 
length  of  Falkirk  to  meet  them,  as  being  a  more  central  meeting 
place.  So  the  business  gradually  became  transferred  there, 
and  the  glory  of  the  great  Michaelmas  Market  departed  from 
Kirkmichael,  very  much  to  the  regret  of  the  youth  of  the  Strath, 
to  whom  the  fair  was  the  great  holiday  of  the  year,  and  for  which 
their  few  pennies  wrere  carefully  hoarded  up  for  months. 

As  this  Ashintullie  charter  is  a  very  interesting  and  valuable 
document,  I  may  give  the  most  of  it  here  :  — "  Hereby,  our 
Sovereign  Lord,  with  the  advice  and  consent  of  the  Lords  Com- 
missioner of  the  Treasurie — Gives,  grants,  and  dispones,  to  the 
said  David  Spalding  of  Ashintullie,  and  airs  male  of  his  body,- 
whilks  failzing,  to  his  airs  male  whatsomever,  and  their  assigneyes 
heretablie  and  irredeemablie  all  and  haill  the  said  David  Spalding 
his  third  part  of  the  Lands  of  Strathardell,  comprehending  the 
lands,  and  others  particularly  underwritten,  viz. — all  and  haill 
the  Mains  of  Ashintully,  towns  and  lands  of  Over  and  Nether 
Weries,  Viith  the  mill,  mill-lands,  multures,  and  sequells  of  the 
same.  The  town  and  lands  of  Spittal,  with  the  mill  thereof,  mill- 
lands,  multures,  and  sequalls  of  the  same,  with  the  crofts  called 
the  Chappell  Crofts ;  the  glen  commonly  called  Glenbeg ;  town 
and  lands  of  Cammis,  of  Tomzecharrow,  of  Dathnagane,  of 
Soilzeries,  over  and  Nether  Tomenamowen,  Tomphin  and  Bal- 
lachraggan.  The  lands  of  Pitviran,  towns  and  lands  of  Easter 
Downie,  of  Balnald,  of  Balnakillie,  of  Glengenat  (Glen  Derby),  of 
Dalreoch,  of  Wester  and  Middle  Inverchroskie,  of  Kirktoune, 
commonly  called  Kirkhillock,  alias  Tomchlachan  (Kirkmichael). 
With  all  and  sundrie  their  towers,  fortalices,  manor-places,  woods, 
fishings,  annexis,  connexis,  dependances,  tennents,  tennendries, 
services  of  free  tenants,  pairts,  pendicles,  and  universal  pertinents 
whatsomever  of  the  aforesaid  third  part  of  the  saids  lands  of 
Strathardell,  alswell  not  named  as  named  within  the  Sheriffdom  of 
Perth.  With  the  privilidge  of  ane  zeerlie  free  flair  to  be  holden 
upon  the  ground  of  the  said  lands  of  Kirktoun,  commonly  called 
Kirkhillock,  or  upon  the  said  lands  of  Balnauld  or  Balnakille,  the 
penult  day  of  Sept.  called  Michaelmas  flair.  And  ane  weeklie 
mercat  together  with  the  Burgh  of  Baronie  of  Kirktoun,  vulgarly 
-called  Kirkhillock,  alias  Tomchlachan,  of  old  erected,   together 


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Sketches  of  Strathardle.  95 

also  with  the  advocation,  donation,  and  right  of  patronage  of  the 
Paroch  Church  and  Parochin  of  Kirkmichael,  with  the  teinus, 
parsonage,  and  vicarage  of  the  same,  and  which  haill  lands,  Burgh 
of  Baronie,  patronage,  and  others  above  disponed,  with  the  per- 
tinents, are  erected  in  one  haill  and  free  Baronie,  to  be  called  the 
Baronie  of  Ashiutully,  conform  to  this  charter  granted  by  us 
under  our  Great  Seal  in  favour  of  David  Spalding  of  Ashintully 
upon  this  date,  10th  January  I.m  VI.C  and  XV.  years."  This 
charter  was  again  ratified  and  confirmed  in  1674,  and  again  more 
fully  in  1681,  when  more  lands  in  Strathardle  were  added,  with 
more  privileges  by  King  James  VII.,  all  of  which  I  will  notice 
when  I  come  to  those  dates. 

1618. — With  the  view  of  stopping  the  continual  feuds  and 
fightings  in  the  Highlands,  the  Scots  Parliament  had  passed  an 
Act  forbidding  the  carrying  of  firearms,  to  which  Act,  however, 
the  clansmen  paid  no  heed  what  aver,  but  went  on  with  their  raids 
and  feuds  as  usual  for  some  years,  till  the  Privy  Council  at  length 
resolved  to  prosecute  any  defaulters  they  could  lay  hands  on  for 
contravening  this  Act.  So,  as  Strathardle  lay  just  inside  the 
Highland  border,  and  as  its  leading  men  were  in  the  constant 
habit  of  visiting  the  Lowlands,  always  of  course  fully  armed, 
contrary  to  this  new  law,  it  was  easy  for  the  authorities  to  get 
proof  against  them,  so  we  find  in  this  year  the  Council  prosecuting 
the  following  worthies  "  for  having  fur  six  years  carried  hagbuts 
and  pistoles,  against  the  law  "  : — David  Spalding  of  Ashintullie  ; 
Patrick  M'Leith,  in  Camis,  Glenshee  ;  Richard  M'Endowie,  in  the 
Spittal ;  George  M'Eane  Vc  Condoquhy  and  Allistei  M'Condoquhy, 
in  Cuithill ;  Allister  M'Phatrick  Vc  Comis  in  Stornloyne  ;  Robert 
M'Intoshe  in  Dalvungie  ;  William  Spalding  and  Allister  Anderson 
in  Innedrie  ;  William  Ferquhair,  in  Fayingang ;  Patrick  Tearlach- 
son,  in  Laiz  ;  John  M'Intoshe  alias  M 'Ritchie,  in  Soilzerie ;  David 
Wemyss,  son  of  James  Wemyss,  Mill  ot  Werie  ;  Allister  Robertson, 
in  Downie ;  Robert  Robertson  Rioch,  in  Cultolonie ;  John  Neilson, 
son  of  John  Dow  Neilson,  in  Dalnagarden ;  Duncan  Robertson,  in 
Kirkmichael ;  Allister  Robertson,  son  6f  Duncan  Neilson,  some- 
time in  Mill  of  Inverchroskie ;  Alexander  Robertson  of  Straloch  ; 
John  M'Intoshe  alias  M'Eane,  in  Dallcharnich  ;  Allister  Wilson  in 
Craiginache ;    John  Stewart,  son  of  P.  Stewart,  Straloch  ;  John 

Fleming,    portioner,   Wester  Inverchroskie  ;    and  John   D , 

Wester  Dalnabrick.  All  these  were  found  guilty  and  fined. 
Spalding  of  Ashintullie,  as  usual,  seems  to  have  been  the  worst 
offender,  as  he  was  fined  £40,  whilst  Robertson  of  Straloch — the 
Baron  Ruadh — and  all  the  rest  got  off  with  a  fine  of  only  ten 
merks. 


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06  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness* 

After  the  preceding  trial,  the  whole  of  these  men  were  again 
summoned  before  the  Privv  Council,  and  they  had  to  find  caution, 
one  for  the  other  of  them — "not  to  carry  hagbuts  or  pistols,  or  to 
shoot  wild  fowl  or  venison/    Records  Privy  Council,  Vol.  XL,  p.  364. 
Here  again  the  Council  found  it  necessary  to  tie  the  redoubtable 
Spalding  of  Ashintullie  tighter  than  his  neighbours,  as  Allister 
Robertson  of  Downie  had  to  become  cautioner  for  him  for  .£500, 
whilst  Allister  himself,  Straloch,  and  all  the  rest  got  off  for  .£100. 
No  doubt  these  warlike  worthies  of  the  good  old  days  thought   it 
a  far  more  iniquitous  and  unnatural  law  to  be  forbidden  to  shoot 
wild  fowl  and  venison  than  to  carry  hagbuts  and  pistols  to  shoot 
their  foes  and  fellow-creatures.      However,  little  they  cared  for 
these  new   laws,  and  once  they  got  above  the  Pass  of  Craighall, 
they  were  as  ready  as  ever  to  shoot  either  man  or  beast,  and  as 
for  going  about  without  arms,  they  would  as  soon  think  of  going 
about  without  clothes.     As  yet,  and  for  some  time  after  this,  only 
the  getlemen  of  Strathardle  and  a  few  of  their  principal  retainers 
had  fire-arms,  as  the  common  people  still  stuck  to  their  ancient 
weapon  the  bow  and  arrow,   which  they  knew  so  well  how  to 
handle,  and  which,  in  the  hands  of  an  expert  bowman,  was  a  far 
superior  weapon  to  the  rude  lire-arms  of  those  days.     I  may  here 
give  the  story  of  a  famous  archer  of  this  time,  just  as  I  gave  it  in 
the  recently  published  "Records  of  the  Clan  Fergusson"  (page  34) 
— "  Long,  long  ago,  according  to  Strathardle  tradition,  before  fire- 
arms were  so  common  in  the  Highlands,  the  most  expert  bowman 
in  Strathardle  was  an  old  man  ot  the  Clan  Ferguson,  named  Adi 
fiiorach,  Sharp-faced  Adam,  who  lived  on  the  north  side  of  the 
river  near  Inverchroskie  Lodge.     The  only  one  who  could  come 
anything  near  him  as  a  marksman  was  a  neighbour  who  lived 
opposite  him  on  the  south  or  Dalreoch  side  of  the  river.     Many 
were   the  trials  of  skill  they  had,   but  Adam  always,  came   off 
victorious,  which  made  the  other  very  jealous.     They  were  also 
very  keen  cock-fighters,  and  had  the  two  best  fighting  cocks  in  the 
district.     One  day  \dam  was  sitting  on  a  stone  at  the  end  of  his 
house  engaged  in  feeding  his  favourite  fighting  cock,  which  was 
so  tame  that  it  would  feed  out  of  his  hand,  when  his  neighbour, 
who  had  been   watching  him,  drew  his  bow  and  sent  an  arrow 
across,  which  killed  the  cock  as  it  fed  out  of  his  hand.     Adam 
thought  this  very  sharp  practice,  but  slipped   quietly  into  the 
house,  and  waited  his  opportunity.     Some  time  after  this,  the 
slayer  of  the  cock  proceeded  to  thatch  his  house,  and  with  the 
assistance  of  his  wife,   the   work  proceeded   rapidly.     After  the 
thatching  was  done,  he  was  laying  a  row  of  turf  along  the  ridge, 


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Sketches  of  Strathardle.  97 

and  fastening  each  turf  with  a  wooden  pin,  and  when  he  was 
placing  a  turf  in  position,  and  both  his  wife  and  himself  still  had 
a  hold  of  it,  Adam,  who  had  been  watching  the  performance,  sent 
an  arrow  over,  and  pinned  the  turf  to  the  thatch,  just  where  the 
wooden  pin  should  go.  Though  startled,  the  old  fellow  took  it 
very  coolly,  and  ordered  his  wife  to  hand  him  another  turf,  which 
he  placed  in  position,  and  then  asked  for  a  wooden  pin  to  fix  it. 
As  his  wife  handed  him  the  pin,  another  arrow  from  Adam's  ready 
bow  dashed  it  from  their  grasp.  This  was  too  much  for  him,  so 
he  quietly  slid  down  the  back  of  the  house,  and  gettiug  his  pet 
game  cock,  he  despatched  his  wife  with  it  as  a  present  and  peace- 
offering  to  Adi  Biorach,  along  with  a  pressing  invitation  to  that 
worthy  to  come  across  and  spend  the  evening  with  him,  which 
invitation  was  readily  accepted,  and,  according  to  the  custom  of 
the  time,  a  very  jovial  evening  was  spent,  and  they  mutually 
agreed  that  there  was  no  occasion  for  any  further  trials  of  skill  in 
archery  between  them,  and  they  afterwards  lived  and  died  in 
peace." 

At  this  time  also,  though  very  young,  lived  in  Glenshee  the 
most  noted  of  all  Perthshire  bowmen,  the  famous  Cam  Rnadh,  but 
as  I  will  have  to  deal  with  him  and  his  exploits  in  1644,  we  will 
leave  him  till  then. 

No  sooner  was  the  ever-restless  David  Spalding  of  Ashintully 
back  from  attending  the  meetings  of  the  Privy  Council  in 
Edinburgh,  and  paying  his  fines,  than  he  and  his  crony  and 
cautioner,  Allister  Robertson  of  Downie,  "  sought  pastures  new," 
in  the  way  of  breaking  the  laws.  No  doubt,  as  the  Privy  Council 
had  objected  to  their  carrying  hagbuts  and  pistols,  and  shooting 
either  men,  wildfowl,  or  venison,  they  thought,  just  for  a  little 
change,  this  time  to  try  some  more  peaceful  occupation.  So  they 
shouldered  their  axes  (and  no  doubt  took  their  hagbuts  and 
pistoles  as  well),  and,  calling  their  men,  set  off  to  the  Braes  of 
Mar,  and  began  cutting  down  "certain  great  growing  trees," 
belonging  to  the  Earl  of  Mar,  in  the  great  pine  forests  there.  As 
they  had  neither  bought  the  timber  nor  asked  the  Earl's  permis 
8ioh  for  it,  this  was  of  course  against  the  law,  so  the  Earl  objected, 
and  they  had  to  appear  once  more  before  the  Court,  and  we  find 
it  recorded  in  "  Pitcairn's  Criminal  Trials,"  Vol.  III.,  p.  458  : — 
"Nov.  18th,  1618.  David  Spalding  of  Essintullie  and  Alexander 
Robertson  of  Myddill  Downie,  dilaited  of  airt  and  pairt  of  the 
cutting  down  of  certain  grit  growand  treyis,  and  away-taking 
thereof  furth  of  Johnne,  Erie  of  Mar  his  Forrestis  and  woidis 
within  the  boundis  of  Braemar,  Cromar,  Strathdie,  and  Glengairn. 

7 


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98  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

In  respect  of  thair  compeirance  offerit  thame  selffis  to  the  tryall 
of  the  Law,  as  altogidder  innocent  thairoff;  and  protestit  for 
thair  cautioners  releif  ;  and  that  thai  sould  nocht  be  trubillet  or 
chargit  for  the  said  allegit  crymes."  They  pleaded  innocent,  and 
as  there  was  either  not  enough  proof,  or  the  Earl  did  not  wish  to 
press  matters  too  far,  the  affair  was  allowed  to  drop. 

1620. — The  gypsies,  or  "  Egyptians,"  as  they  were  then  called, 
had  become  so  numerous  in  Scotland  about  the  beginning  of  the 
seventeenth  century,  and  were  so  much  given  to  thieving,  robbery, 
and  murder,  that  King  James,  in  1609,  passed  an  Act  of  Pari  la- 
ment against  them,  forbidding  any  of  his  subjects  to  "  resset, 
supplie,  or  entertain  "  any  of  them.  All  the  district  of  Atholl, 
and  especially  Strathardle,  had  a  full  share  of  these  "  lymmaris 
and  vagaboundis,"  and  we  now  find  Alexander  Rattray  of  Dal- 
rulzion  and  our  old  friend,  David  Spalding  of  Ashintullie,  getting 
into  trouble  for  harbouring  them,  as  follows : — "  Complaint  by 
the  King's  Advocate  that  the  Act  of  Parliament  of  28th 
June,  1609,  forbidding  any  one  to  'ressett,  supplie,  or  enter- 
tain' ony  of  these  vagabondis,  theives,  sornaris,  and  lymmaris 
callit  Egyptians,  after  the  1st  day  of  August  thairaftir  under  pain 
of  confiscatioun,  had  been  contraved  by  David  Spalding  of  Ashin- 
tullie, Alexander  Rattray  of  Dalrullion,  Finlay  M'Inroy  in  Moulin, 
and  Thomas  Arioche  in  Brae  of  Tullymet.  Bye  thir  contempt  of 
law  thae  saidis  counterfoote  theives,  sornaris,  and  vagabondis,  are 
encourageitt  to  remain  within  this  countrie  agains  the  tenour  of 
the  saidis  Act  of  Parliament  and  to  continew  in  their  accustomat 
and  wicket  trade  of  thift,  sorning,  and  abewsing  of  his  Majestie's 
guid  subiects;"  The  Advocate  appearing  personally,  as  also 
David  Spalding  and  Alex.  Rattray,  the  Lords  assoilze  David 
Spalding ;  remit  Alex.  Rattray  to  be  taken  order  with  by  the 
Treasurers ;  and  depute  and  order  the  other  defenders  to  be 
denounced  rebels.  (Records,  Privy  Council,  Vol.  XII.,  p.  562.)  So 
Spalding  once  more  got  clear  of  the  law,  and  still  continued  to 
harbour  Egyptians,  in  whom  he  found  valuable  allies,  as  they  were 
ever  ready  to  engage  in  all  the  desperate  enterprises  in  which  he 
was  so  often  engaged.  It  was  during  this  time,  when  David 
Spalding  had  so  many  cases  before  the  Privy  Council  in  Edin- 
burgh, that  he,  in  his  hot-blooded  haste  and  anger,  slew  his 
famous  serving  man — "  Daidh  Crom" — Crooked  Davie,  so  called 
from  his  being  hunchbacked,  a  faithful  clansman,  and  the  fleetest 
runner  ever  known  in  all  Atholl.  In  justice  to  Spalding,  I  must 
say  that  he  committed  this  foul  deed  under  a  misapprehension, 
and  that  he  ever  after  regretted  it,  and  always  declared  that  of 


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Sketches  of  Strathardle.  99 

all  the  men  ever  he  had  slain,  Davie  was  the  only  one  that  he 
wished  alive  again. 

Ashintully  received  a  message  from  the  Privy  Council  saying 
that  unless  certain  papers  were  lodged  in  Edinburgh  before  sunset 
on  such  a  day,  he  would  be  outlawed,  and  all  his  estates  and  goods 
confiscated.  Now,  owing  to  some  delay,  he  only  got  the  message 
late  on  the  night  before  the  appointed  hour,  so  he  at  once 
got  the  papers,  tied  them  up  in  a  packet,  and  gave  them 
to  his  fleet-footed  retainer,  Davie,  telling  him  to  start  betimes  in 
the  morning,  as  he  must  deliver  the  packet  in  Edinburgh 
before  sunset  next  evening.  Now,  as  Edinburgh  is  about  seventy 
miles  from  Ashintully,  even  as  the  crow  flies,  by  Perth  and 
Queensferry,  I  am  afraid  most  of  the  degenerate  retainers  of  the 
present  day  would  as  soon  undertake  a  journey  to  the  proverbial 
Jericho  as  go  such  a  distance  on  foot.  Not  so  the  light-footed 
Davie  Spalding ;  he  thought  nothing  of  it ;  he  had  often  done  it 
before.  But  it  so  happened  that  there  was  to  be  a  great  feast 
and  a  dance  at  the  castle  next  night,  and  naturally  such  a  light- 
footed  youth  as  Davie  was  very  fond  of  dancing ;  and,  besides, 
had  he  not  a  sweetheart  there,  a  bonnie,  comely  lassie,  who  did 
not  care  though  Davie's  back  was  a  little  crooked,  for  she  knew 
that  his  heart  was  not  crooked.  Davie  thought  of  all  this  and  a 
great  deal  more,  but  those  -vere  not  the  days  when  a  clansman 
dare  grumble  or  disobey  the  orders  of  his  chief,  least  of  all  such  a 
haughty  chief  as  that  of  the  Spaldings.  So  Davie  Crom  took  the 
papers  quietly ;  but  instead  of  waiting  till  daylight,  he  at  once 
slipped  out  at  the  castle  gate,  and  made  a  bee-line  for  Edinburgh, 
faster  than  ever  he  had  done  before,  over  hill  and  dale.  He 
arrived  there  in  good  time,  delivered  his  packet  of  papers,  and 
j^ot  another  packet  in  return,  and  at  once  set  off  on  his  return 
journey,  and  arrived  at  Ashintully  late  in  the  afternoon  of  the 
same  day.  As  the  laird  was  out  hunting  on  the  hills,  Davie 
sought  the  great  hall  of  the  castle,  where  he  had  some  food,  after 
which  he  lay  down  and  stretched  his  tired  limbs  on  the  floor  under 
the  huge  table,  and  was  soon  fast  asleep.  It  so  happened  that 
Ashintully  had  but  bad  luck  and  poor  sport  that  day,  and  so 
returned  to  the  castle  in  a  very  surly  mood,  and  upon  entering 
the  great  hall,  the  first  thing  he  saw  was  crooked  Davie  curled  up 
fast  asleep  under  the  table,  amongst  a  lot  of  hounds,  with  the 
packet  of  papers  clasped  in  his  hand,  and  it  at  once  struck  him  that 
Davie  had  never  yet  started  for  Edinburgh,  and  that  the  important 
papers  that  were  to  have  saved  his  estate  were  still  there  unde- 
livered. So,  blind  with  rage  and  fury,  he  drew  his  dirk  and  plunged 


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100  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

it  in  the  heart  of  poor  bleeping  Davie.  It  was  only  when  he  lifted 
the  blood-stained  packet  of  papers,  and  saw  it  was  the  answer 
back  from  Edinburgh,  which  the  fleet-footed  messenger  had 
brought  him  in  such  an  incredibly  short  time,  that  he  saw,  when 
too  late,  his  fatal  mistake,  and  that  his  ever-ready  dirk  had  sent 
poor  Davie  on  his  last  long  journey  from  which  there  was  no 
return.  There  was  no  feasting  or  mirth  in  the  Castle  that  night,, 
as  all  mourned  for  Davie,  and  even  the  proud  and  haughty  chief 
himself  unbent  so  far  as  to  admit  that  Davie  was  the  only  one  he 
wished  alive  again  of  all  the  men  he  had  ever  slain.  Aye,  and  I 
have  heard  old  men  tell  how  that,  as  long  as  there  were  Spaldings 
in  Ashintully,  before  any  of  the  family  died,  travellers  between 
Ashintully  and  Kirkmichael  were  often  startled  by  seeing  a  hunch- 
backed young  Highlander  with  flowing  tartans  and  a  packet  of 
papers  in  his  hand  flash  past  them  like  lightning.  It  was  the 
ghost  of  Crooked  Davie  bearing  the  summons  of  death  to  some 
one  of  the  Spaldings  of  Ashintully. 

We  have  already  seen  that  in  1603,  Herring  of  Glasclune  and 
Herring  of  Cally  gave  a  charter  to  Angus  Fergusson,  alias  M'Innes 
(M 'Angus),  of  part  of  the  lands  of  Easter  Butter's  Cally,  and  now 
we  find  these  same  two  lairds  giving  a  charter  of  part  of  Wester 
Butter's  Cally  to  Robert  Fergusson,  alias  M4 Angus,  in  Wester 
Dalnabrick  ; — "  Solarem  tertiam  partem  terrarum  et  ville  de 
Wester  Butteris  Calie  per  current  em  rigam  cum  ejus  moris 
piscationibis,  lie  girssingis  et  Schealingis.  Keg.  Mag.  Sig.,  VI., 
2156.  16th  March  1620."  Among  the  witnesses  to  this  charter 
was  James  Fergusson  in  the  Hill  of  Cally. 

The  various  families  of  the  Clan  Fergusson  in  Strathardle 
and  Glenshee  had  each  their  own  patronymics  to  distinguish 
them.  Thus  the  old  Fergussons  of  Balmacrochie  were  always 
known  as  MacAdi — Sons  of  Adam,  of  Wester  and  Easter  Cally ; 
MacAonghais — M 'Angus,  or  M'Innes,  of  Glenbrierachan  ;  Mac- 
Fhionnlaidh — M'Finlay,  of  Balnacult,  in  Straloch  ;  MacFheargkuis 
Dhuibh — Sons  of  Black  Fergus,  of  Downie ;  MacRobi — M 'Roberts ; 
whilst  the  Glenshee  Fergussons,  who  were  of  the  Downie 
family,  were  Clann  Fheargkuis  Dhunie — Clan  Fergus  of  Downie* 
Connected  with  the  latter  we  have  a  very  fine  old  Strathspey 
tune,  which  was  a  great  favourite  with  Robert  Petrie,  Robert 
Peebles,  the  Rev.  Allan  Stewart,  and  other  famous  old  Strathardle 
musicians.  It  is  called  u  An  t' sean  Ruga  Mhor,"  which,  being 
interpreted,  means  "  The  Big  Old  Termagant."  M 'Alpine,  in  his 
Gaelic  dictionary,  gives  the  meaning  of  "  Ruga "  as  "a  rough 
female,"  which,  when  the  big  and  old  are  added,  exactly  describes. 


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Sketches  of  Strathardle.  101 

our  heroine.  She  was  a  huge  muscular,  masculine,  half-witted 
dame  of  the  Fergussons  of  Dounie,  who,  upon  hearing  that  some 
of  her  kinsfolk,  the  Fergussons  of  Glenshee,  had  been  ill-treated 
by  some  of  their  neighbours  there,  headed  by  a  M'Combie,  who 
lived  at  Dalmunzie,  she  set  off  by  Dounie  burn,  paat  Ashintully 
Castle,  and  up  the  glen  to  the  great  hill  and  pass  of  Burroch,  and 
descending  on  Glenshee,  reached  Dalmunzie,  and  coming  upon 
M'Combie  unawares,  she  caught  him  and  handled  him  so  roughly 
that  she  nearly  shook  the  life  out  of  him,  and  at  last  threw  him 
senseless  in  a  dirty  pool  of  water  on  his  own  midden,  out  of  which 
he  crawled  when  he  recovered,  and  making  his  way  across  the 
Cairnwell,  never  to  return,  he  sought  refuge  in  Aberdeenshire, 
and  settled  there,  and  from  him  are  descended  the  M'Combies  of 
these  parts.  This  tune,  and  its  Gaelic  words,  are  still  well  known 
in  Strathardle,  but  the  latter,  when  describing  the  rough  handling 
she  gave  M'Combie,  are  scarcely  refined  enough  for  ears  polite  of 
the  present  day,  but  I  may  give  a  few  verses : — 

"  Sud  i  null  am  Burrach,  am  Burrach,  am  Burrach, 
Sud  i  null  am  Burrach, 

An  't  sean  Ruga  Mhor." 

*  "  Thig  cobhair  as  an  Dunie,  an  Dunie,  an  Dunie, 

Thig  cobhair  as  an  Dunie,  ' 

Ars  an  t'  sean  Ruga  Mhor." 

41  A  chobhair  Chlann  'Earrais  an  Dunie,  an  Dunie,  an  Dunie, 
A  chobhair  Chlann  'Earrais  an  Dunie, 
Thain'  an  t'  sean  Ruga  Mhor." 

"  Rainig  i  Dailmhungie,  Dailmhungie,  Dailmhungie, 
Rainig  i  Dailmhungie, 

An  t'  sean  Ruga  Mhor." — <fcc.,  &c. 

"  She's  off  across  the  Burroch,  the  Burroch,  the  Burroch, 
She's  off  across  the  Burroch, 
The  old  Ruga  Mor." 

*  "  Help  will  come  from  Dounie,  from  Dounie,  from  Dounie, 

Help  will  come  from  Dounie,' 
Says  the  old  Ruga  Mor." 

44  To  help  Clan  Fergus  of  Dounie,  of  Dounie,  of  Dounie, 
To  help  Clan  Fergus  of  Dounie, 
Came  the  old  Ruga  Mor." 


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102  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

"  She  has  reached  Dalmungie,  Dalmungie,  Dalmungie, 
She  has  reached  Dalmungie, 
The  old  Ruga  Mor." 

Here  we  %ill  leave  the  old  "  Ruga  Mor,"  upholding  the  honour 
of  her  clan  at  Dalmungie,  but  before  leaving  her  clan  for  the 
present,  1  may  mention  that  on  16th  March  of  this  year  I  find  a 
confirmation  of  the  charter  of  16th  November,  1603,  by  which  the 
late  Andrew  Hering  of  Glasclune,  David  Hering,  his  son  and  heir, 
and  Andrew  Hering  of  Cally,  second  son  of  the  said  Andrew 
Senior,  granted  in  feu  to  Angus  Fergusson,  alias  M'Innes,  in 
Eister-Butteris-Callie — "  quarterium  terrarum  et  ville  lie  Eister 
Butteris-Callie  (intra  bondus  specificatas)  cum  moris,  piscationibus, 
lie  girsinggis  et  schealangis  per  eum  occupat,  vie.  Perth — Reg. 
Mag.  Sig.  VI.,  2157." 

On  July  26th,  John  Fergusson  (Iain  M'Kerras  Dowy)  of  Bal- 
nacult,  in  Straloch,  was  unlawed  in  100  merks  for  not  entering 
certain  persons  accused  of  carrying  off  "ane  simple  puir  man"  to 
Blair-Atholl,  where  he  met  with  a  miserable  end — Clan  Fergusson 
Records,  60. 

Now,  these  "  certain  persons,"  whom  this  clannish  Black 
Fergusson  refused  to  enter  for  trial,  were  his  kinsman,  John  Bowy 
M'Kerras  Dowy,  Fair  John  of  the  Black  Fergussons,  and  his 
neighbours,  Robert  M'Coule  in  Wester  Kindrogan,  and  Robert 
Glas  there,  as  we  find  in  Pitcairn's  Criminal  Trials,  p.  491  : — 
"July  2tith,  1620.  Taking  captive,  oppression,  starving  to  death. 
Robert  M'Coule  in  Wester  Kindrogan  ;  Robert  Glas  thair ;  and 
John  Bowy  M'Kerras  Dowy  in  Straloche.  Dilaitit  for  usurpatioun 
of  our  soverane  lordis  authoritie,  in  taking  of  vmqle  Allaster 
M'Gilliemule,  in  Innerridrie  ane  simple  puir  man  furth  of  the 
duelling  hous  of  Johnne  Roy  M'Gilliemule  vpon  the  lands  of 
Bordland,  within  the  scherifdome  of  Perthe,  binding  him  hand  and 
fute  and  cayring  him  as  ane  captive  and  prissoner  with  thame  to 
the  Castell  of  Blair  in  Atholl,  and  stryppit  him  naikit  of  his 
claithes  and  thaireftir  casting  him  in  the  pit  of  the  said  castell, 
quhair  in  the  deid  tyme  of  wynter,  viz.  in  December  last,  he 
fameischet  with  hunger  and  cald,  efter  he  had  remainit  foure 
dayis  and  four  nichtis  thairintill,  and  thairafter  cayreing  him  out 
of  the  said  pitt  to  ane  gibbit  (being  deid)  vpon  the  landis  of  Blair 
quhair  thay  hang  him  up,  as  ane  malefactour,  but  no  power  or 
commission  gevin  till  thame,  or  ony  preceiding  tryell  tane  of  his 
guiltiness  of  ony  crime.  The  Justice  ordainit  Johnne  Fergusson 
of  Belnacult  in  Straloche  as  cautioner  and  sourertie,  to  be  vnlawit 


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Sketches  of  Strathardle.  103 

for  nocht  entrie  of  ilk  ane  of  the  saidis  personis  in  the  pane  of  ane 
hundreth  merkis.  And  siclyk,  that  they  sail  be  denoimcit  rebillis 
and  put  to  the  home  and  all  thair  moveabil  guidis  to  be  escheit." 

1621. — We  have  already  often  seen  that  the  Strathardle  folk 
were  always  leal  and  true  friends  of  the  persecuted  Clan  Gregor, 
and  though  as  lately  as  1613  many  of  them  were  heavily  lined 
for  harbouring  and  resetting  the  Macgregors,  yet  they  still 
persisted  in  giving  succour  and  shelter  to  the  clan  that  was 
"  nameless  by  day."  So  now  we  find  some  of  them  in  trouble 
again  : — 

"Edinburgh,  10th  August,  1621. — Caution  by  James  Weymis 
of  the  Mill  of  Werie,  that  David  Spalding  of  Eschintullie  shall 
pay  to  Arch.  Prymrose,  wrriter  in  Edinburgh,  and  Arch.  Campbell, 
brother  to  Sir  James  Campbell  of  Lawers,  commissioners  appointed 
by  the  Lords  of  Council  for  uplifting  of  the  fines  imposed  upon 
the  resetters  of  the  Clangrigour,  and  with  consent  of  Archibald, 
Earl  of  Argyll,  donator  of  the  fines,  the  sum  of  2000  merks  as  the 
fine  imposed  upon  the  deseased  Johnne  Robertson  of  Straloch,  for 
which  the  said  Spalding  became  cautioner  if  found  liable.  With 
clause  of  releif . 

"  Signed     James  Weimess,  Cautioner. 
"David  Spalding." 
— Records,  Privy  Council,  Vol.  XII.,  p.  562. 

"Edinburgh,  10th  August,  1621. — Caution  by  David  Spalding 
of  Eschintullie  for  James  Weymes  of  the  Mill  of  Werie,  that  he 
will  pay  to  the  said  Commission  the  fine  of  1000  merks  imposed 
upon  Thomas  Fergusson  of  Belleyewcane  for  the  resett  of  the 
Clangregour,  for  which  he  became  caution  if  he  be  found  liable. 
With  clause  of  releif.        "  Signed     David  Spalding,  Cautioner. 

"  James  Weimes." 

It  is  a  great  credit  indeed  to  these  wild  reckless  lairds  of 
Strathardle  and  Atholl  that  they  stuck  so  loyal  and  true  to  their 
ancient  friends  the  Macgregors  all  through  their  long  and  bitter 
persecution.  It  was  truly  a  very  unselfish  policy  for  them  to 
pursue — they  had  all  to  lose  and  nothing  to  gain — yet  they 
cheerfully,  time  after  time,  paid  ruinous  fines,  and  suffered  long 
imprisonments  for  the  sake  of  Clan  Alpine. 

Our  old  friend,  John  Robertson,  the  Baron  Cutach  of 
Straloch,  with  all  his  pomp  and  pride,  had  very  little  spare  cash 
about  him,  Spalding  of  Ashintully  had  less,  whilst  James 
Weymess  of  the  Mill  of  Werie  was  but  a  sma',  sma'  laird ; 
yet  these  brave  men  and  many  others  often  cheerfully  paid  fines 
of  2000  merks  in  Edinburgh  for  resetting  Clangregor,  and  then 


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104  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

hastening  home  to  their  native  glens,  celebrated  the  occasion  by 
again  resetting  double  the  number  of  poor  hunted  Macgregors. 

Of  all  the  Highland  clans,  as  wo  have  already  seen,  the  most 
inveterate  resetters  of  Clangregor  were  the  Fergussons  of  Atholl, 
Strathardle,  and  Glenshee,  and  why  not?  Were  they  not  con- 
nected by  the  sacred  ties  of  clannish  kindred  ?  Were  they  not 
cousins  only  sixty-eight  times  removed?  What  man  of  the 
Fergusson  clan  but  claims  to  be  descended  from  King  Fergus, 
the  first  King  of  the  Scots  ?  In  the  old  Gaelic  song,  "  The 
Gathering  of  the  Clans,"  we  have — 

"  Ach  c'uim*  an  leiginn  dearmad  air 
Clann  Fhearghuis  nan  garbh  thurn ; 
Sliochd  a  cheud  High  Albannaich, 
A  chum  ar  coir  's  na  garbh-chriochan." 

And  wherefore  would  I  now  forget 
Clan  Fergus  of  the  brave  deeds ; 
Descendants  of  the  first  King  of  Alban, 
Who  defended  our  rights  to  our  mountain-land. 

And  another  old  bard  sings  of  Clan  Fergus  : — 

"  Sliochd  nam  fear  nach  robh  cearbach 
Thanig  sios  o  R\gh  Fearghuis, 
A  righich  air  Albainn  'o  thus." 

Sons  of  the  men  who  were  never  afraid, 
Who  descended  down  from  King  Fergus, 
The  first  king  who  reigned  over  Alban. 

And  to  show  their  royal  descent  from  King  Alpine,  don't  the 
Macgregors  proudly  bear  above  their  crest  the  Gaelic  motto — "  'S 
rioghail  mo  dhream  " — My  race  is  royal.  To  a  Saxon,  the  kinship 
between  these  two  clans  may  seem  veiy  remote,  but  to  these  old 
Highlanders,  the  clannish  bond  of  being  descended  from  the  same 
ancient  royal  race  made  the  Clan  Fergus  stick  truly  to  the 
Macgregors  through  all  the  long,  long  years  of  their  bitter 
persecution. 

1622. — Once  again  I  find  about  forty  of  the  principal  men  in 
Strathardle  and  Glenshee  summoned  before  the  Privy  Council 
for  carrying  hagbuts  and  pistols,  and  shooting  wild  fowl  and 
venison.  A  few  of  them,  no  doubt  the  most  innocent  of  the  lot> 
appeared  before  the  Council,  and : — "  The  Lords  assoilze  the 
defenders  appearing  personally,  because  they   have  denied   the 


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Sketches  of  Strathardle.  105 

charge  on  their  oaths  of  verity  and  order  the  absent  members  to 
be  denounced  rebels."  As  these  persecutions  against  almost  every 
man  of  standing  in  Strathardle  and  Glenshee  went  on  continually 
for  about  ten  years  at  this  time,  and  as  the  charge  always  was, 
carrying  firearms  and  shooting  wild  fowl  and  venison,  while  there 
is  no  mention  of,  or  objection  to,  their  carrying  their  ancient  arms 
of  bow,  dirk,  and  claymore,  which  were  such  deadly  weapons 
against  human  beings,  I  am  a  little  afraid  the  Government  of  the 
day  were  really  more  alarmed  for  the  destruction  which  the  rapid 
spread  of  firearms  at  this  time  made  amongst  wild  fowl  and 
venison  than  they  were  for  the  loss  of  life  through  constant  and 
bitter  feuds  between  rival  clans. 

At  anyrate,  the  result  of  all  these  persecutions  was  that  about 
three-score  of  the  principal  men  of  the  district  all  paired,  each 
Incoming  caution  for  the  other  in  300  merks  not  to  carry  fire- 
arms. Foremost  amongst  those  worthies  who  both  gave  and  took 
the  caution  were  the  lairds  of  Straloch,  Ashintullie,  Dalrulzion, 
and  Bleaton,  none  of  whom,  I  am  afraid,  paid  any  heed  to  the 
law,  or  showed  a  good  example  to  men  of  lesser  note. 


80th  APRIL,  1896. 

At  the  meeting  this  evening,  in  the  Caledonian  Hotel,  which 
was  largely  attended  by  members  and  the  general  public — Mr 
Duncan  Campbell,  Craignish,  presiding — Mr  Callum  Macdonald, 
Highland  Club,  Inverness,  was  elected  an  honorary  member  of  the 
Society ;  and  Mr  John  Macleod,  M.P.,  Inverness ;  Mr  John  Mac- 
kenzie, factor,  Dunvegau,  Skye ;  and  Mr  D.  Macleod,  M.B.,  of 
Beverley,  Yorkshire,  were  elected  ordinary  members  of  the  Society. 
Thereafter  Miss  Goodrich-Freer,  London,  delivered  an  interesting 
lecture  on  "  Second  Sight  in  the  Highlands,"  of  which  a  summary 
is  given. 

The  Secretary  has  received  the  following  letter  from  Miss 
Freer : — 

27  Cleveland  Gardens,  Hyde  Park,  London,   W., 
6th  November,  1897. 
Dear  Sir, 

I  am  returning  you  a  corrected  copy  of  the  news- 
paper report  of  my  address  on  Second  Sight   in  the  Highlands. 
You  will  note  that  out  of  regard  for  your  space  I  have  subtracted 
all  that  necessitated  the  use  of  a  diagram,  and  all  the  stories  which 


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106  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

served  as  illustrations  of  tlie  points  which  the  diagram  was  intended 
to  explain.  I  think  that  such  persons  as  are  likely  to  be  interested 
by  what  I  had  to  say  can  %vrobably  supply  more  and  better  stories 
than  I. 

Will  you  allow  me,  in  your  pages,  to  again  thank  all  tlvose 
correspondents  who  were  good  enough  to  communicate  with  me  after 
my  appearance  among  you,  and  to  thank  them  with  that  special 
fervour  which  is  gratitutle  for  favours  to  come  ?  I  am  most  grateful 
for  all  the  information  they  are  willing  to  send  me;  and  to  some  wlia 
have  apologised  for  triviality,  I  would  say  that,  in  such  an  enquiry 
as  this,  nothing  is  trivial  that  is  relevant  and  (rue.  The  most 
trifling  experiences  are  often  the  most  suggestive,  and  I  am  still 
asking  for  more. 

I  am,  faithfully  yours, 

A.  GOODRICH-FREER. 


SECOND  SIGHT  IN  THE  HIGHLANDS. 

It  is  but  seldom  that  one  is  privileged  to  tell  one's  fellow- 
creatures  that  they  are,  or  have,  something  which  is  far  more 
valuable  than  they  are  at  all  aware.  As  a  rule,  we  are  all  quite 
sufficiently  well  satisfied  with  ourselves  and  our  possessions,  but  T 
think  the  Highlander  is  but  little  conscious  of  the  immense  value 
to  students  of  psychology  of  that  faculty,  so  characteristic  of  the 
Celtic  race,  which  is  known  as  Second  Sight. 

I  was  myself  born  south  of  the  Tweed,  but  like  the  man  who- 
was  born  in  Glasgow,  "  I  canna  help  it."  My  ancestors,  however, 
were  more  fortunate,  and  I  venture  to  speak  to-night  as  a  High- 
lander to  Highlanders,  and  for  that  reason  I  shall  not  waste  your 
time  and  mine  by  showing  that  such  a  faculty  as  Second  Sight 
does  exist.  I  think  that  probably  a  large  proportion  of  those  here 
present  would  think  it  due  to  their  own  reputation  to  allege  that 
they  didn't  believe  in  anything  of  the  kind.  "  There  is  no  such 
thing  as  Second  Sight,"  you  would  say,  "  or  if  there  ever  were,  it 
has  ceased  to  exist  except  in  auld  wives'  fables,  and  a  few  remote 
districts.  But  .  .  ."  And  then  would  follow  some  valuable 
and  interesting  story,  which  nothing  would  induce  you  to  believe 
if  it  hadn't  happened  to  yourself,  or  to  some  one  you  know  very 
well,  and  which  you  feel  is  very  mysterious,  though  far  be  it  from, 
you  to  say  it  was  second  sight !  That  is  just  the  sort  of  story  I 
am  anxious  to  discuss ;  not  local  legends,   or  something  which. 


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Second  Sight  in  the  Highlands.  107 

happened  long  ago,  or  family  traditions  (all  of  which  are  immensely 
interesting  as  folk  lore),  but  the  sort  of  story  which  begins  with  a 
"  But,"  and  ends  with,  "  That  is  perfectly  true,  aud  I  can  prove 
it." 

It  is  in  the  hope  that  what  I  have  to  say  may  lead  some  of 
you  to  bring  me  such  stories,  that  I  venture  to  dwell,  with  some 
emphasis,  on  the  importance  of  the  subject  both  to  literature  and 
to  science ;  not  to  those  of  small  party  feelings,  and  theories  cut 
and  dried,  Spiritualists  and  Theosophists  and  theorists  of  one  sort 
or  another,  but  to  those  whose  held  of  enquiry  is — Man  :  his 
nature,  his  faculties,  and  his  history,  past  and  future.  From  this 
point  of  view,  Highland  beliefs  and  Highland  history  are  of  very 
great  importance  indeed  to  the  literary  and  the  scientific  world. 
There  is  no  need  for  me  to  talk  to  you  about  the  literary  worth  of 
your  history.  We  all  know  the  very  valuable  family  histories 
that  have  emanated  from  this  very  town  of  youro,  by  a  felluw- 
townsman — books  that  are  not  only  valuable  from  a  literary  and 
historical  point  of  view,  but  are  absolutely  teeming  with  stories 
dealing  with  the  subject  that  it  is  my  business  to  speak  to  you 
about  to-night.  I  have  found,  in  going  through  the  Highlands 
and  Islands,  that  many  of  the  Highlanders  have  very  little  idea 
of  what  an  immense  value  these  stories  are  to  the  world  of  science. 
The  time  was  when  stories  of  Second  Sight  were  regarded  as 
having  in  them  necessarily  something  of  the  supernatural,  and 
were  therefore  not  believed  ;  but  a  reaction  has  now  set  in,  and  we 
are  beginning  to  realise  that  if  these  stories  are  true,  if  the 
evidence  accumulated  is  of  such  quality  and  quantity  as  to  remove 
them  from  the  explanation  of  being  mere  chance  coincidence,  the.i, 
by  being  true,  they  become  a  part  of  nature,  and  though  they 
may  appear  to  us  to  be  mper-normal  because  at  present  we  have 
no  sufficient  explanation  of  their  occurrence,  they  cannot,  ipso 
facto,  be  supernatural. 

Of  course,  on  this  hypothesis,  very  much  must  depend  upon 
the  nature  of  the  evidence,  and  the  care  with  which  it  is  examined. 
You  are  probably  aware  that  there  is  a  society  in  London,  known 
as  the  Society  for  Psychical  Research,  which  is  occupied  with  the 
collection  and  examination  of  evidence  of  this  kind.  There  are 
many  well-known  names  among  its  members,  names  famous  in 
connections  so  different  that  one  feels  the  more  confidence  that 
the  Society  is  not  maintained  and  worked  by  a  few  faddists,  the 
misleading  people  who  have  a  theory  to  prove,  but  by  those 
whose  concern  is  to  enquire  and  to  learn.  Among  such  names  I 
may   mention   the   Marquess   of   Bute,    Mr  Arthur  Balfour,  Mr 


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108  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness 

Gerald  Balfour,  the  Earl  of  Crawford  and  Balcarres,  Mr  Gladstone, 
and  some  dozen  at  least  cf  prominent  men  of  science,  doctors  and 
professors,  both  English  and  foreign. 

For  about  eight  years,  the  working  members  of  this  Society 
have  been  occupied  with  collecting  first  hand  well  attested 
experiences  which  appear  to  be  super-normal,  and  the  comparison 
of  evidence  has  led,  in  a  large  majority  of  cases,  to  the  conclusion 
that  there  is,  in  fact,  no  need  to  suppose  them  in  any  sense  super- 
natural. Once  granted  the  possibility  of  the  existence  of  thought 
transference  and  of  sub-conscious  mental  activity,  much  evidence 
which  was  formerly  regarded  as  the  natural  prey  of  spiritualists 
and  other  superstitious  persons  has  now  been  established  as 
scientifically  demonstrable  fact,  of  which  so  large  a  proportion  has 
a  normal  and  "  common-sense"  explanation  that  we  are  encouraged 
to  await  with  confidence  some  such  explanation  as  to  the  remainder. 
Such  cases  lie  mainly  among  stories  of  so-called  ghosts,  haunted 
houses,  clairvoyance,  and  many  of  the  illusions  and  delusions  of 
"  seances,"  "  spirit-rappings,"  "  mediums,"  aud  the  like. 

But  there  is  one  class  of  stories  for  which  at  present  we  have 
absolutely  no  hint  of  explanation  to  offer — the  whole  series  of 
experiences  which  come  under  the  head  of  Piemonition,  and  which 
includes  Second  Sight,  as  found  largely  among  the  Celtic  races, 
especially  in  the  Highlands  of  Scotland.  The  liberality  of  the 
Marquess  of  Bute  enabled  the  Society  for  Psychical  Research  to 
make  some  special  enquiries  into  the  subject.  The  Society  had 
recently  collected  a  Census  of  Hallucinations  in  every  part  of  the 
world,  and  proposed  to  make  their  enquiries  in  the  Highlands  on 
the  same  system.  The  Rev.  Peter  Dewar,  of  Rothesay,  kindly 
undertook  the  office  of  secretary,  and  sent  out  nearly  two  thousand 
schedules  to  ministers,  schoolmasters,  doctors,  heads  of  police, 
land  owners,  aitd,  as  far  as  possible,  to  representatives  of  all 
classes  in  Gaelic-speaking  districts  of  the  Highlands.  Out  of 
these  but  sixty  were  leturned  duly  filled  up,  and  but  half  answered 
in  the  affirmative  the  following  questions  : — 

1.  Is    "Second   Sight"   believed   in. by  the   people   of   your 

neighbourhood  ? 

2.  Have  you  yourself  seen  or  heard  of  any  cases  which  appear 

to  imply  such  a  gift  1     If  so,  will  you  send  me  the  facts  ? 

3.  Can  you  refer  me  to  any  one  who  has  had  personal  experi- 

ence, and  who  would  be  disposed  to  make  a  statement 
to  me  on  the  subject  ? 

4.  Do  you  know  of  any  persons  who  feel  an  interest,  and  who 

would  be  disposed  to  help  in  this  inquiry  ? 


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Second  Sight  in  the  Highlands.  10£ 

At  the  end  of  six  months,  Lord  Bute  issued  a  further  circular 
in  his  own  name,  with  somewhat  better  results,  two  hundred  and 
ten  being  filled  up,  of  which  sixty-four  answers  were  more  or  less 
affirmative. 

It  was  of  no  use,  however,  to  disguise  the  fact  that  the 
attempt  was  a  failure,  The  Highlander  is  independent  and 
reticent.  If  he  does  not  like  to  answer  questions  in  the  cause  of 
science,  he  is  quite  right  to  hold  his  tongue  ;  but  it  was  dis- 
appointing. It  was  not  till  I  came  to  the  Highlands  for  the 
purposes  of  this  enquiry  myself,  that  I  realised  how  entirely 
unlikely  it  was  that  such  an  attempt  should  have  any  success.  I 
found  that,  in  a  great  number  of  instances,  the  circulars  had  been 
neglected,  not  from  indifference  or  lack  of  attention,  but  because 
many  recipients  felt  that  a  subject  which,  if  not  a  motive  force 
in  their  own  lives,  was  at  least  a  tradition  reverently  received 
from  their  ancestors — one  too  great  for  their  powers  of  handling, 
too  sacred  for  discussion  with  strangers. 

Moreover,  the  inquiry  is  inevitably  one  which  cannot  be 
adequately  dealt  with  by  correspondence  merely.  In  a*  great 
number  of  instances  the  persons  who  are  likely  to  give  most 
valuable  help  in  the  matter,  are  those  unaccustomed  to  express 
their  thoughts  in  writing,  or  who  have  not  leisure  to  relate  long 
histories,  even  when  they  have  the  inclination  to  do  so. 

Moreover,  even  in  the  wildest  glens  and  islands,  the  school- 
master is  abroad,  and  a  generation  is  fast  arising  that  knows 
little  of  romance  and  poetry,  and  simple  faith,  and  reverence  for 
tradition;  and  those  to  whom  these  things  are  most  dear  are 
learning — in  proportion  as  they  feel  their  reality  and  power — to 
disguise  and  minimise  the  fact  of  their  belief. 

Again,  in  those  parts  where  Presbyterianism  is  strong,  with  all 
its  essential  modernness,  its  imprimatur  of  reform,  its  association 
with  political  feeling*  there  is,  among  the  people,  an  attitude  of 
apology  for  their  interest  in  psychical  experience  which  one  does 
not  find  where  Church  teaching,  either  Anglican  or  Roman,  with 
its  more  picturesque  presentation  of  sacred  truths,  its  historic 
buildings,  its  manifold  associations,  has  never  been  interrupted. 
The  Presbyterians  more  especially  showed  a  reluctance  to  commit 
their  experiences  to  writing,  though  entirely  courteous  and  willing 
when  personally  approached. 

Hints  are  thrown  out  in  certain  of  the  schedules  as  to  the 
possibility  of  personally  communicating  experiences  which  could 
not  be  written  down,  and,  moreover,  as  to  certain  traditional 
methods  of  acquiring  the  faculty  of  Second  Sight.     These  hints 


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110  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

led,  in  the  end,  to  a  request  from  the  committee  appointed  to 
carry  out  the  investigation,  that,  being  a  woman  of  leisure,  deeply 
interested  in  the  subject,  and  in  most  cordial  sympathy  with  all 
that  is  Highland,  I  would  make  a  personal  visit,  and  advise  as  to 
future  possibilities.  Accordingly,  with  a  friend  and  a  dog,  I 
visited  the  districts  specially  indicated,  and  have  been  received 
with  such  kindness  and  courtesy  that  I  have  volunteered  to  make 
myself  responsible  fur  the  Report  to  the  Society  for  Psychical 
Research  on  Second  Sight  in  the  Highlands.  We  continue  to  feel 
that  the  amount  both  of  pleasure  and  profit  has  far  exceeded  our 
-expectations  ;  the  Highlander  is,  in  every  rank  of  life,  a  gentleman ; 
we  have  met  with  unfailing  kindness  and  courtesy,  and  we  look 
forward  to  repeating  our  visit  with  even  more  satisfaction  than 
that  with  which  \*e  first  undertook  the  trust. 

The  subject  is  quite  too  abstract  and  quite  too  difficult  to  be 
•decided  upon,  or  theorised  about,  without  a  far  larger  amount  of 
material  than  we  have  at  the  present  moment ;  but  it  I  am  spared, 
and  help  is  given  me,  I  hope  to  continue  the  inquiry  until  1  have 
evolved  something.  One  special  reason  why  I  have  come  all  the 
way  from  London  to  Inverness  to-night  was  the  hope  that  I  might 
stimulate  a  certain  amount  of  interest  among  you  in  this  inquiry. 
In  so  difficult  a  subject  one  needs  all  the  help  available,  and  you, 
who  live  on  the  spot,  could  give  me  hints  that  perhaps  might  take 
me  six  months  to  work  out  for  myself. 

The  special  characteristic  of  Second  Sight  in  the  High- 
lands is  that  it  is  mainly,  or  at  all  events  largely,  pre- 
monitory. I  do  not  think  the  phenomenon  exists  in  the 
same  degree  in  any  part  of  the  world  as  it  does  in  the  Highlands. 
When  you  get  anything  like  Second  Sight  elsewhere  it  is  also  in 
the  mountainous  country  that  you  find  it — in  the  Balkans,  in  the 
Himalayas,  and  the  mountains  of  Italy ;  but  nowhere  do  you  find 
the  evidence  given  with  such  reverence,  sincerity,  and  simplicity 
as  in  the  Highlands  of  Scotland.  Out  of  justice  to  England  I  may 
say  you  hear  of  it  in  the  Highlands  of  Devonshire  and  York- 
shire, and  other  solitudes  of  mountains,  among  people  who,  to  a 
certain  extent,  are  separated  from  the  rest  of  the  world.  I  do  not 
pretend  to  give  the  explanation ;  but  I  offer  the  fact  for  your  con- 
sideration. I  wish  definitely  to  say  for  myself  and  for  a  large 
proportion  of  the  Society  to  which  I  belong,  that  we  are  not 
Spiritualists ;  that  we  are  merely  scientific  inquirers,  or,  I  should 
prefer  to  say,  sympathetic  inquirers  in  a  scientific  way.  My 
special  interest  in  Second  Sight,  as  a  subject  for  psychical 
research,  lies  in  the  very  fact  that  it  is  one  which  the  Spiritualist 


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Second  Sight  in  the  Highlands.  Ill 

has  not  yet  seized  and  vulgarised,  but  that  the  stories,  even  if 
possibly  exaggerated,  are,  nevertheless,  told  with  characteristic 
Highland  reverence,  a  reverence  which,  I  venture  to  think,  forms 
an  essential  part  of  all  science  worth  the  name,  reverence  for  the 
mind  and  faculties  and  associations  of  man,  and  for  the  God  in 
whose  likeness  he  is  made. 

One  might  ask  why  should  certain  individuals  or  certain  races 
be  gifted  with  this  power  of  Second  Sight  rather  than  other  races 
and  other  individuals  ?  Why  should  one  man  be  a  poet  and  not 
another  1  Why  should  one  man  be  an  artist  and  not  another  ? 
Why  should  one  man  have  the  gift  of  expressing  his  thoughts  and 
not  another?  I  believe  that  the  question  of  the  difference  of 
faculty  is  simply  that  of  "  the  personal  equation."  We  have  most 
of  us  a  great  number  of  faculties  of  which  we  know  very  little  ; 
we  all  of  us  have  a  great  number  of  faculties  of  which  we  make 
little  or  no  use — powers  often  of  a  higher  kind  than  those  we  are 
aware  of  and  in  which  we  take  pride.  You  may  have  gone  out  of  this 
beautiful  city  of  Inverness  this  April  morning,  and  have  heard  the 
sky-lark  in  the  air.  It  was  something  delicious,  that  made  the  morn- 
ing more  beautiful  than  before  ;  but  when  the  poet  Shelley  heard 
the  sky-lark  as  you  did,  he  not  only  felt,  but  was  able  to  express 
the  feeling  for  us  in  poetic  language  ;  the  feeling  was  common  to 
us  also,  but  he  alone  was  able  to  externalise  it.  This  Second 
Sight  is  simply  the  power  of  externalisation  in  a  visual  form  of 
knowledge  which  somehow  has  got  into  our  minds,  just  as  the 
poet  externalises  in  words  emotion  which  has  somehow  got 
into  his.  Very  often  those  of  us  who  have  the  seer 
faculty  are  able  to  get  at  that  which  is  in  other  people's  minds. 
Imagine  a  country  boy  taken  from  a  little  village  where  he  had 
few  opportunities  of  society,  of  the  world,  and  of  education,  and 
sent  to  a  university,  where  he  looks  out  upon  the  world  and 
meets  his  fellow-creatures.  In  doing  so  you  have  made  "  another 
man  "  of  him.  You  have  educated  him — you  have  called  out  the 
powers  that  were  in  existence,  though  unsuspected,  before  they 
were  drawn  out  by  this  process  of  association  and  education.  My 
contention  is  that  the  faculties  of  which  we  are  conscious  are  not 
necessarily  the  whole  of  our  personality  ;  that  the  "you"  I  know, 
and  the  "me"  you  know,  is  only  a  part  of  you  and  a  part  of  me. 

Many  old  forms  of  divination  may  be  explained  as  being  artificial 
methods  of  getting  at  information  which  is  all  the  time  lying  at 
the  back  of  one's  mind,  but  is  not  accessible  at  the  moment,  just 
as  when  you  forget  a  name  in  conversation  you  know  that  if  you 
go  on  talking  it  will  very  likely  "  come  to  you."     Crystal-gazing 


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112  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

in  all  its  forma  is  one  of  these.  Its  Highland  equivalent  is 
gazing  at  the  shoulder-blade  of  a  sheep,  or  even  in  some  parts  the 
more  modern  superstition  of  go  zing  into  a  tea  cup.  The  effort  of 
concentrating  the  gaze  concentrates  the  faculties  of  memory  and 
observation  at  the  same  time ;  you  recall  things  you  are  hardly 
conscious  even  of  having  known,  things  which  have  come  into 
your  mind  only  in  association  with  something  more  important  or 
more  interesting,  and  when  you  utter  them  they  may  seem,  to 
yourself  and  your  hearers  alike,  supernatural  in  origin.  Or  again, 
you  dream  of  some  fact  you  have  known  but  have  not  thought  of 
for  years.  Your  memory  still  has  been  sub-consciously  at  work, 
and  has  brought  up  this  fact  by  some  force  of  association  you  find 
it  now  impossible  to  trace.  I  convinced  myself  strongly  when 
experimenting  in  crystal-gazing  that  the  visions  I  got  in  the 
crystal  were  often  like  dreams,  and  brought  to  my  mind  what  I  had 
apparently  forgotten,  or  had  hardly  known  of,  or  which  I  had  observed 
and  stored  in  my  memory  before  I  consciously  knew  or  noticed  it. 
Through  the  eye  the  brain  can  take  its  own  pictures  without  our 
conscious  knowledge.  When  we  once  realise  this,  we  are  able  to 
account  for  much  of  the  occasional  possession  of  knowledge  we  are 
unconscious  of  having  acquired,  and  this  fact  has  been  of  the 
utmost  use  in  psychical  investigation.  It  has  helped  to  explain 
many  mysteries,  for,  after  all,  the  mental  and  subjective  mystery 
is  much  greater  than  the  physical  and  objective  one.  It  is  not 
difficult  to  understand  that  a  person  in  the  habit  of  making  mental 
pictures,  of  seeing  things  in  his  "mind's  eye,"  should  see  visions  and 
dream  dreams  ;  the  mystery  is  far  greater  as  to  "  the  stuff  that 
dreams  are  made  of."  It  is  not  difficult  to  understand  that  persons 
should  have  hallucinations  of  other  senses  as  well  as  sight;  that  they 
should  in  all  good  faith  think  they  hear  voices,  or  feel  touches ; 
the  real  mystery  is  when  the  voices  tell  them  something  true 
which  they  believe  they  did  not  know  before,  but  which  may 
have  lain  unrecognised  in  their  minds  all  the  time  without  their 
being  aware  v  of  it.  Crystal-gazing  and  automatic  writing,  and 
dreams  and  visions,  are  not  in  themselves  mysterious,  they  merely, 
at  the  best,  and  supposing  the  process  to  be  honest,  externalise 
something  already  in  the  mind  ;  the  mystery  is  how  it  got  there. 
The  water-dowser's  rod  dips  near  a  spring.  There  is  no  mystery 
in  that.  He  (quite  unconsciously,  very  likely)  makes  it  dip  ;  the 
mystery  is  how  did  the  knowledge  that  he  was  near  water  get  into 
his  mind  ?  In  all  these  matters  we  are  bound  in  honesty,  before 
resorting  to  any  supernatural  explanation,  to  remember  the 
immense  amount  of  mental  activity  of  which  we  are  not  conscious. 


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Second  Sight  in  the  Highlands.  113 

Or  again,  a  long  and  careful  enquiry  and  comparison  of 
statistics  has  shown  that  it  seems  very  probable  that  there  is 
a  good  deal  of  communication  between  one  mind  and  another 
"by  channels  other  than  that  of  words  or  signs  spoken  or  written, 
and  which  we  call  the  thought-transference.  How  often  it 
happens  that  our  mind  turns  towards  some  friend,  perhaps 
after  a  long  interval  of  silence  or  estrangement,  at  the  very 
time  when  a  letter  from  him  is  passing  through  the  post,  or 
he  is  on  his  way  to  pay  us  a  visit !  How  often  two  persons  who 
are  much  together  find  they  have  been  silently  thinking  about 
the  same  thing,  or  even  that  one  will  answer  the  other's  unspoken 
question,  or  respond  to  a  remark  that  has  not  been  uttered  aloud. 
How  often  we  are  conscious  of  even  the  silent  and  inactive 
influence  of  some  person  of  strong  individuality,  of  the  tone  of  a 
household ;  in  short,  what  a  tremendous  power  is  thought,  even 
when  unuttered  by  word  or  deed  !  We  all  know  stories  of  friends 
communicating  with  each  other  at  a  distance  or  in  the  moment  of 
death,  or  other  crisis.  Why  should  we  not  recognise  that  such 
communication  may  exist  under  less  powerful  stimulus?  This 
would  extend  still  further  our  possible  sources  of  knowledge.  We 
may  perhaps,  then,  sub-consciously  acquire  information  not  only 
from  our  own  observation,  memory,  and  deduction,  but  by  reading 
the  thoughts  of  those  about  us.  It  is  even  conceivable,  and  there 
is  a  great  deal  of  evidence  which  seems  to  show  that  it  is  probable, 
that  this  transference  of  thought  is  quite  independent  of  distance, 
and  possibly  even  continues  after  death.  This,  at  least,  would  help 
to  explain  many  so-called  ghost  stories — to  do  away  with  the  so- 
called  "  supernatural "  element  in  many  houses  alleged  to  be 
haunted. 

Self-suggestion  is  a  third  hypothesis  which  explains  many 
cases  apparently  supernatural.  If  you  tell  weird  stories  over  the 
fire,  in  the  gloaming,  you  are  very  likely  not  anxious  to  walk 
home  alone  afterwards.  You  suggest  (unconsciously)  unknown 
horrors  to  your  own  mind.  Expectation  is  the  strongest  possible 
incentive  to  all  emotion,  and  if  you  are  m.  the  habit  of  seeing 
pictures  in  your  mind — as  most  of  us  Celts  are — it  will  not  be  at 
all  incomprehensible  if  you  really  do  see  something  before  your 
lonely  walk  is  over.  Hypnotism  is  largely  employed  in  medicine 
to  facilitate  suggestion  ;  suggestion  is  the  secret  of  half  the  quack 
medicines,  and  a  good  many  other  medicines  too  ;  it  is  the  method 
of  the  mother  who  says,  "  Baby  hurt  ?  mother  will  kiss  it  better," 
as  of  the  teacher  who  says,  "  I  know  you  will  tell  me  the  truth." 
It  is  probably  the  explanation  of  such  successes  as  are  achieved  by 


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114  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

so-called  "  mediums,"  as  well  as  of  the  magicians  and  fakirs  of  the 
East. 

These  three  possible  hypotheses,  with  some  others  which  are 
of  less  value,  go  very  far  to  subtract  from  the  number  of  the 
mysteries  which  come  under  the  observation  of  those  engaged  in 
psychical  research.  It  will,  however,  be  observed  that  they 
apply  only  to  such  experiences  as  refer  to  either  the  past  or  the 
present.  We  may  be  able  to  construct  the  immediate  future 
by  deduction  from  the  past.  Unconscious  memory  and  observa- 
tion may  create  visions  and  dreams  which  may  prove  true,  yet 
for  which  we  cannot  account ;  self-suggestion  and  expectation 
may  serve  to  create  marvels  which  we  are  not  \n  condition  at  the 
moment  to  investigate  or  reason  upon. 

The  special  interest  of  Second  Sight,  however,  is  that  it  relates 
almost  entirely  to  the  future,  and  that  future  very  often  distant 
by  months  and  even  years.  In  Tiree  I  heard  of  more  than  one 
well-attested  case  of  prevision  of  events  fulfilled  fifty  years  later. 
In  all  parts  of  the  Highlands  I  have  heard  stories  of  lights  in 
fields  where  a  railway  was  later  constructed,  of  the  sound  of 
singing  where  a  church  was  afterwards  built,  of  lights  on  a  loch 
where  a  pier  came  to  be  placed,  and  so  on.  With  all  its  industry 
and  ingenuity,  Psychical  Research  has  as  yet  no  hypothesis  of 
explanation  for  such  facts  as  these.  The  Anglo-Saxon  goes  so  far 
as  to  deny  their  existence,  often  while  accepting  others  for  which 
the  evidence  is  infinitely  less.  He  will  not  try  to  observe  for 
himself,*  he  will  not  read  Martin  and  Theophilus  Insulanus,  and 
Frazer  of  Tiree  ;  and  he  thinks  because  he  has  asked  a  few  super- 
ficial questions  of  a  gillie  at  a  shooting  lodge,  and  the  gillie — and 
I  don't  blame  him — has  told  the  Sassenach  what  he  seemed 
anxious  to  hear,  that*  he  has  settled  the  whole  question,  and  that 
Second  Sight  in  the  Highlands  is  an  extinct  superstition.  He 
does  not  know  the  proverb,  "  He  who  pays  the  piper  calls  the 
tune,"  and  he  fancies  he  has  acquired  information. 

But  it  is  not  only  to  justify  the  beliefs  and  traditions  of  our 
forefathers,  nor  to  acquire  information  upon  an  obscure  question 
of  psychology,  that  I  think  this  problem  of  the  explanation  of 
Second  Sight  worth  the  attention  of  careful  observers  and  honest 
thinkers.  In  these  days  of  scepticism  one  cannot  but  feel  that 
this  superstition — if  superstition  it  be — may  be  the  twilight  path 
to  faith,  and  minister  more  to  the  needs  of  man  than  the 
materialism  which  is  the  darkness  no  lamp  of  hope  illumines. 
Only  this  morning,  gazing  over  the  grey  distance  of  Culloden 
Moor,  I  felt  the  vivid  presence  of  the  Past — 


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Second  Sight  in  the  Highlands.  115 

"  the  days  of  Prince  Charlie, 
When  the  North  spent  its  valour  in  vain" 

• — a  past  that  has  gone,  and  in  which  we  have  no  part  but  that  of 
memory.  But  the  Future  is  ours  still,  our  stimulus  here,  our 
aspiration  beyond,  and  1  think  it  is  no  mere  sentiment  which 
makes  one  feel  that  all  which  concerns  our  relation  with  the  time 
that  is  to  be,  demands  our  special  reverence. 

If  the  tradition  of  Second  Sight  is  a  mere  delusion  it  will  fall 
into  the  obscurity  which  awaits  all  that  is  not  true  and  therefore 
eternal.  On  the  other  hand,  if  in  less  complex  times  and  among 
our  simpler  ancestors  there  were  those  who  were  now  and  then 
permitted  to  turn  a  leaf  of  the  book  of  the  Future,  we  should  not, 
I  think,  suffer  any  aspersion  on  the  memory  of  those  who  may 
have  had  other,  and  perhaps  higher,  faculties  than  we.  Or  again, 
if  here  and  there  we  may  still  find  those,  living  as  a  rule  near  to 
the  heart  of  nature,  away  from  the  bustle  and  the  strife  of  towns, 
who  have  not  wTholly  lost  a  faculty  which,  in  its  occasional  use, 
reminds  us  of  the  seers  of  the  past,  the}'  should  be  the  objects 
neither  of  our  ridicule  nor  of  our  fear,  but  should  be  observed 
with  the  care  which  lays  the  foundation  of  such  knowledge  of 
jnan  as  leads  to  that  reverence  which  is  the  knowledge  of  God. 


ANNUAL  ASSEMBLY. 

9th  JULY,  1896. 

The  Twenty-fourth  Annual  Assembly  was  held  in  the  Music 
,  Hall  this  evening.  The  chair  wras  occupied  by  Rev.  Dr  Stewart, 
minister  of  Onich,  who  is  kuown  the  world  over  as  "  Nether- 
Lochaber."  The  fact  that  Dr  Stewart  had  consented  to  preside 
raised  lively  feelings  of  anticipation,  and  rendered  the  assembly 
specially  interesting  to  many.  On  either  hand  the  Chairman  was 
supported  by  representative  gentlemen,  including  Provost  Mac- 
bean,  ex-Provost  Ross,  Mr  E.  H.  Macmillan,  manager  of  the 
Caledonian  Banking  Company,  Limited ;  Mr  William  Mackay, 
solicitor ;  Brigade -Surgeon  Grant,  Rev.  Mr  Macqeeen,  Rev.  Mr 
Cameron,  Arpafeetie ;  Mr  Steele,  Bank  of  Scotland  ;  Colonel 
Alexander  Macdonald,  Portree ;  Major  Napier,  Mr  Kenneth  Mac- 
donald,  Town-Clerk ;  Mr  Alex.  Mackenzie,  Mr  James  Barron,  Mr 
Wm,  Eraser,  Rev.   Dr  A.  C.  Macdonald,  Mr  Duncan  Mactavish, 


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116  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

Millburn  ;  Mr  A.  Macdonald,  Highland  Railway  ;  Mr  John  Whyte,. 
Mr  A.  M.  Ross,  Dingwall ;  Mr  Duncan  Mackintosh,  secretary  of 
the  Society,  and  other  gentlemen. 

Dr  Stewart,  who  was  received  with  loud  applause,  said — I  am 
exceedingly  obliged  to  you  for  your  kind  reception,  and  very  glad 
to  be  present  with  you  here  this  evening.  "  It's  a  far  cry  to 
Lochaw,"  and  almost  as  far  to  Lochaber ;  yet  from  Nether- 
Lochaber,  across  the  whole  breadth  of  Scotland  have  I  come,  with 
no  other  end  or  aim  or  object  than  to  take  a  small  part  in  this  the 
twenty-fourth  annual  reunion  of  the  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 
I  had  the  honour  to  be  present,  along  with  many  distinguished 
men — the  greater  number  of  them  now,  alas  !  no  more — at  the 
institution,  or  birth,  so  to  speak,  of  the  Gaelic  Society ;  and  I  am 
now  glad  to  be  present,  to  shake  hands  with  it,  so  to  say,  on 
having  attained  its  majority — a  lusty,  healthful  majority,  and  a 
matureness  of  manhood  which  entitle  it  to  a  position  second  to  no 
society  of  the  kind  in  the  kingdom.  During  the  24  years  of  its 
existence  the  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness  has  done  a  great  deal  of 
good  work,  of  which  its  members  may  well  be  proud.  The  visitor 
to  St  Paul's,  London,  which  my  friend  Provost  Ross  will  admit  is 
the  noblest  non-Gothic  cathedral  in  the  world,  will  find  on  the 
tomb  of  Sir  Christopher  Wren,  the  architect  of  that  magnificent 
pile,  the  very  strikiag  and  appropriate  inscription — Si  monu- 
mentum  requiris  circumspice  1  "If  you  seek  for  his  monument,  look 
around  you !"  And  if  auyone  seeks  to  know  what  the  Gaelic 
Society  of  Inverness  has  done  to  entitle  it  to  be  held  in  very  hjgh 
respect,  I  would  point  to  its  nineteen  volumes  of  "Transactions," 
and  say,  look  at  these  volumes,  and  confess  that  the  Society  has 
done  yoeman  service — a  vast  amount  of  good  work  in  elucidation 
of  the  language  and  literature,  the  antiquities  and  folklore  of  the 
Highlands ;  and  when  I  say  the  Highlands,  I  use  the  term  in  its 
widest  sense — all  the  Highlands  from,  so  to  speak,  Dan  to  Beer- 
sheba.  But  the  Gaelic  Society  has  not  only  done  much  admirable 
work  directly,  but  also  indirectly.  It  has  stimulated  gentlemen 
within  its  sphere  of  influence  to  undertake  and  happily  accom- 
plish a  large  amount  of  literary  work  of  a  high  order  of  merit — 
work  that  but  for  the  Society  might  never,  perhaps,  have  been 
undertaken  at  all,  or,  if  undertaken,  that  but  for  the  Society 
would  hardly  have  attained  to  the  liveliness  of  phrase  and  general 
excellence  of  style  which  so  markedly  characterise  it.  Let  me 
mention  the  Celtic  Magazine,  so  long  and  so  ably  conducted  by 
my  friend,  Mr  Alexander  Mackenzie — also  his  excellent  Clan 
Histories,  far  and  away  the  best  works  of  the  kind  in  existence. 


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Annual  Assembly.  117 

Let  me  refer  to  the  "  Urquhart  and  Glenmoriston"  volume  of  my 
friend,  Mr  William  Mackay,  hon.  secretary  of  the  Society;  to 
"  Church  and  Social  Life  in  the  Highlands,"  by  Mr  Macpherson,  of 
Kingussie  ;  to  "An  Etymological  Dictionary  of  the  Gaelic 
Language,"  by  Mr  Macbain;  to  the  two  handsome  volumes, 
""  Reliquiae  Celticse,"  so  ably  edited  by  Mr  Macbain  and  Rev.  Mr 
Kennedy ;  to  Nicolson's  "Gaelic  Proverbs,"  to  Blackie's  "  Language 
and  Literature  of  the  Scottish  Highlands,"  and  to  a  recent  little 
volume  of  Gaelic  lyrics  by  Alexander  Macdonald.  Here,  too,  I 
should  like  to  say  how  admirably  written  and  intensely  interesting 
are  the  volumes  of  Transactions  published  from  time  to  time  by 
the  Inverness  Field  Club.  I  do  not  of  course  mean  to  say  that 
the  Gaelic  Society  can  in  any  proper  sense  of  the  term  claim  the 
percentage  of  all  or  any  of  these  works  ;  but  I  do  not  think  I  am 
wrong  in  saying  that  their  authors  did  their  work  all  the  more 
cheerily,  and  were  stimulated  in  the  direction  of  excellence  of 
achievement  because  of  the  existence  of  the  Gaelic  Society  of 
Inverness,  and  their  connection  with  it  as  ordinary  or  honorary 
members.  I  only  regret  that  circumstances  have  prevented  Mr 
Baillie  of  Doehfour,  our  knight  of  the  shire,  from  presiding  here 
this  evening.  I  also  regret  the  absence  this  evening  of  our  friend, 
Mr  Fraser-Mackintosh,  our  excellent  representative  in  Parliament 
for  so  many  years,  and  one  of  the  best,  as  he  is  one  of  the  most 
accomplished,  of  living  Highlanders.  We  must,  however,  do  the 
best  we  can,  although  deprived  of  the  genial  presence  of  these 
gentlemen,  and  of  others  who  might  be  mentioned.  I  once  knew 
an  old  man,  a  native  of  the  Island  of  Mull,  who  owned  a  small 
sloop,  with  which  he  traded  between  Tobermory  and  the  Clyde. 
He  was  once  asked  if  his  sloop  was  a  good  sailer,  when  he 
answered — "  Well,  she  has  no  great  gift  of  going  to  windward,  but 
give  her  wind  and  tide  in  her  favour,  and  you  would  be  surprised 
how  nicely  she  gets  along."  Now,  ladies  and  gentlemen,  I  am 
like  that  Mull  man,  your  skipper  this  evening.  You  are,  so  to 
speak,  the  sloop,  of  which  I  am  in  temporary  command.  We 
have  an  excellent  programme  ;  we  are  all  in  good  humour  and 
-willing  to  be  pleased,  wind  and  tide  in  our  favour ;  and  like 
Hector  Mackinoon's  sloop  in  similar  circumstances,  there  is  no 
fear  but  we  shall  get  on  famously,  there  being  no  adverse  circum- 
stances to  bar  our  enjoyment. 

Dr  Stewart  expressed  his  deep  regret  that  Mr  Macbain,  M.A., 
who  had  promised  to  deliver  a  Gaelic  address,  was  prevented  by 
the  state  of  his  health  from  being  present.  In  Mr  Macbain's 
absence,    he   called  upon    Mr  Alex.    Mackenzie,    publisher,    who 


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118  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness 

delivered  a  racy  speech,  ia  the  course  of  which  he  read  the 
following  poem  on  the  Society,  which  had  been  written  by  Mr 
Neil  Macleod,  Edinburgh,  the  bard  of  the  Society : — 

Com c xx  Gailig  Ixbhirxis. 

Tha  samhradh  eil'  air  teachd  mu'n  cuairt, 
Tha  ceol  'us  luathghair  feadh  nan  crann  ; 
Tha  maise  'sgeadachadh  nam  bruach, 
Tha  trusgan  ur  air  cluaiii  'us  gleaim. 

Tha  clann  mo  ruins'  a  rithist  cruinn 

'Am  baile  rioghail  tir  nam  beann ; 

A.  dheanamh  iomradh  air  na  suinn, 

\S  air  eachdraidh  bhuan  nan  linn  a  bhs  ami. 

A  chumail  suas  na  Gailig  bhinn, 

'S  a  h-ionmhasan  gun  dith  gun  chearb  ; 

Seasaidh  a  cliu  bho  linn  gu  linn 

Air  chuimhne  mhaireannaich  nach  sear^r. 

Canain  nam  bliadhnaibh  cian  a  thriall, 
JS  a  gniomharan  cha  teid,  air  chul, 
Taisgaidh  ar  'n  anam  cainnt  nan  triath, 
Ga  h-altrum  suas  le  miadh  'us  muirn. 

Dh'  fhag  iad  au  eachdraidh  glan  na'n  deigh, 
Dhearbh  iad  an  trenbhantas  gu  trie ; 
Leanadh  an  sliochd  air  luirg  an  ceum, 
Gu  fearail,  fiughail,  gleusda,  glic. 

Cho  fad  's  a  shiubhlas  uillt  gu  cuan, 

Cho  fad  's  a  bhuaileas  tonn  air  traigh  ; 

Biodh  clann  mo  dhuthcha,  's  cainnt  mo  shluaighr 

A'  cosnadh  buaidh  bho  al  gu  al ! 

A  hearty  vote  of  thanks  having  been  awarded,  on  the  motion 
of  Mr  E.  H.  Macmillan,  to  Dr  Stewart,  for  his  genial  conduct  as 
Chairman,  the  assembly  concluded  with  "  God  Save  the  Queen  " 
and  "  Auld  Lang  Syne,"  which  were  played  on  the  bagpipes  by 
the  Society's  piper,  Pipe-Major  Ronald  Mackenzie,  Gordon  Castle. 

The  following  is  a  copy  of  the  programme  for  the  evening. 
The  singing  was  of  a  high  class  throughout.  Miss  C.  Fraser  pre- 
sided at  the  piano. 


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Annual  Assembly.  119 

Part  I. 

Address Chairman. 

Song  (Gaelic).  "  Mairi  bhan  og  " Mr  R.  Macleod. 

Song, "  Angus  Macdonald"  .        .        .  Miss  Jessie  N.  Maclachlan. 

Song,  "  Scots  wha  hae "  .         .         .    '    .         .  Mr  ^Eneas  Fraser. 

Song,  "  Cam'  ye  by  Atholl  " Mrs  Munro. 

Violin  Solo,  "  Scotch  Selections  " Mr  Alex.  Watt. 

Song,  "  Sound  the  Pibroch "  .        .         .        .  Miss  Kate  Fraser. 

Dance,  Argyle  Sword  Dance  ;  Pipe-Major  Sutherland,  Pipe-Major  Ferguson, 

Mr  D.  Macdonald.  and  Mr  Angus  Mackay. 
Song,  "  Air  Fal-al-al-o  "  Miss  Jessie  N.  Maclachlan. 

Song,  "  Scotland  yet " Mr  R.  Macleod. 

Song,  "  Annie  Laurie  " Mrs  Munro. 

Bagpipe  Music  by  Pipe-Major  Ronald  Mackenzie,  Gordon  Castle, 

Piper  to  the  Society. 

Dance  by  Pipe-Major  Sutherland. 

Part  II. 

Address  (Gaelic)      ...         Mr  Alex.  Macbain,  M.A. 
Song  (Gaelic),  "  Caismeachd  Chloinn  Chamrain"     .     Miss  J.  N.  Maclachlan. 
Violin  Selection,  "  Scotch  and  Highland  Airs  "  Mr  Alex.  Watt. 

Song,  "  Willie's  gane  to  Melville  Castle"  ....        Mrs  Munro. 

Song  (Gaelic),  "  Moladh  na  Lanndaidh  "  ...  Mr  R.  Macleod. 

Duet,  "  The  Crookit  Bawbee"     .     Miss  Kate  Fraser  and  Mr  JSneab  Fraser. 
Song,  "  The  Dear  Auld  Hame  "  .         .         .  Miss  Jessie  N.  Maclachlan. 

Dance,  "Reel  of  Tulloch" Oganaich  Ghaidhealach. 

"  Auld  Lang  Syne." 


11th  NOVEMBER,  1896. 

A  meeting  of  the  Society  was  held  this  evening  for  the  purpose 
of  confirming  a  recommendation  of  a  meetiDg  of  Council  on  9th 
November  to  present  the  following  ladies  and  gentlemen  with 
some  suitable  token  in  recognition  of  their  services  to  the  Society 
for  many  years,  in  connection  with  the  Summer  Assemblies, 
namely,  Miss  Cosey  Fraser,  music  teacher;  Miss  Kate  Fraser, 
teacher ;  Mr  ^Eneas  Fraser,  writer ;  and  Mr  R.  Macleod,  clothier, 
which  was  agreed  to,  after  the  names  of  Pipe-Major  Ronald  Mac- 
kenzie and  Pipe-Major  D.  H.  Ferguson  had  been  added  to  the  list. 
The  recommendation  of  the  same  Council  meeting  to  open  the 
session  with  a  social  meeting  on  the  19th  was  remitted  back  to 
the  Council  for  further  consideration,  after  which  it  was  arranged 
to  open  the  session  on  that  date  in  the  ordinary  way. 


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120  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

10th  NOVEMBER,  1896. 

At  the  meeting  this  evening,  Thomas  Mackenzie,  Esq.,  Dailuaine 
House,  Carron,  was  elected  a  life  member ;  Captain  D.  Winiberley. 
Inverness,  an  honorary  member  ;  and  Mr  Wm.  Krupp,  Victoria 
Hotel,  Inverness,  an  ordinary  u- ember  of  the  Society.  The 
Secretary  laid  on  the  table  a  copy  of  "  Presbytery  Records  of 
Inverness  and  Dingwall"  from  the  editor,  Mr  Wm.  Mackay,  lion, 
secretary,  and  intimated  the  receipt  of  £o  from  John  Mackay, 
Esq.,  Hereford,  as  a  donation  towards  the  Society's  funds.  There- 
after Mr  Duncan  Campbell  read  the  first  part  of  a  contribution  by 
Captain  D.  Wimberley,  Inverness,  entitled  "  Papers  from  the 
Bighouse  Charter  Chest,"  which  was  as  follows  : — 

SELECTIONS  FROM  THE  FAMILY  PAPERS  OF  THE 
MACKAYS  OF  BIGHOUSE, 

Consisting  Mainly  of  Letters  Addressed  to  John  Campbell 

of  Barcaldine,  some  time  one  of  the  Government  Factors 

on  the  Forfeited  Estates  after  the  '45. 

Mr  Colin  Campbell  Mackay,  the  present  representative  of  the 
Bighouse  family,  having  kindly  consented  to  the  publication  of 
various  letters  and  a  few  other  miscellaneous  papers  now  in  his 
possession,  an  offer  of  copies  of  them  is  made  to  the  Gaelic  Society 
of  Inverness  for  insertion  in  their  Transactions  by  instalments. 
The  greater  poition  consists  of  letters  written  to  John  Campbell  of 
Barcaldine,  descended  from  Sir  Duncan  Campbell  of  Glenorchy, 
and  long  factor  on  part  of  the  Breadalbane  estates,  by  various 
correspondents,  including  John,  Lord  Glenorchy,  afterwards  third 
Earl  of  Breadalbane  ;  different  members  of  the  Barcaldine  family, 
one  of  whom  was  the  ill-fated  Colin  Campbell  of  Gl enure  ;  Baron 
Maule,  one  of  the  Barons  of  the  Exchequer,  who  for  some  time 
managed  and  controlled  the  accounts  of  the  forfeited  estates ;  Mr 
Charles  Areskine  of  Alva  and  Tinwald,  Lord  Justice-Clerk ;  the 
Hon.  Hugh  Mackay  of  Bighouse ;  the  Hon.  George  Mackay  of 
Skibo  ;  and  Colonel  John  Crawford,  who  commanded  at  Fort- 
William  at  the  time  of  Glenure's  murder.  Among  the  miscel- 
laneous letters  and  papers  are  one  from  John,  first  Earl  of  Bread- 
albane, denying  all  complicity  with,  or  knowledge  of,  the  massacre 
of  Glencoe  until  after  the  event ;  this  letter  is  addressed  to  Alex- 
ander Campbell  of  Barcaldine,  grandfather  of  John  of  Barcaldine, 


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The  Big  house  Papers.  121 

and  is  dated  26th  May,  1692  ;  a  notarial  copy  of  a  Decreet  of  the 
Court  of  Justiciary,  dated  Inverness,  December,  1695,  against 
John  Macdonald,  the  eldest,  and  Alexander,  one  of  the  younger 
sons  of  Maclan  of  Glencoe,  for  a  raid  committed  on  the  farm  of 
Dalshangie,  in  Glen-Urquhart,  in  1689  ;  an  Inventory  of  Writs 
and  Evidents  of  the  Estate  of  Kilmun,  delivered  by  Patrick 
Campbell  of  Barcaldine  (father  of  John),  for  himself  and  in  name 
of  his  spouse,  Agnes  Campbell,  only  lawful  daughter  to  the 
deceased  James  Campbell  of  Kilmun,  to  Col.  Alex.  Campbell  of 
Finab,  dated  Edinburgh,  9th  May,  1705  ;  an  anonymous  letter, 
dated  1753,  anent  Allan  Breck,  bearing  internal  evidence  of 
being  the  production  of  James  Mor  DrummonJ  or  Macgregor  ; 
and  a  copy  of  the  Oath  of  Allegiance  to  George  II.,  and  of  abjur- 
ation of  James  VIII.,  in  Gaelic,  of  date  1754  ;  and  also  two 
•curious  communicatioQS  of  much  later  date,  1809,  relative  to  one 
mermaid  seen  near  Thurso,  and  another  apparently  near  Reay 
Manse.  Lord  Glenorchy's  letters  are  of  general  interest,  referring, 
as  they  do,  to  various  topics  of  the  day  between  1745  and  1757. 
These  include  public  events  at  the  commencement  of  the  Jacobite 
rising,  and  the  appointment  of  the  Duke  of  Cumberland  to  the 
command  of  the  Royal  army ;  the  movements  of  the  Highland 
army,  their  campaign  in  the  North  of  England  and  retirement 
northwards ;  the  raising  of  the  militia  and  granting  of  commissions  ; 
the  sending  of  Highland  prisoners  from  Edinburgh  to  Carlisle ; 
Lord  Lovat's  trial ;  the  abolition  of  heritable  jurisdictions  ;  the 
forfeited  estates,  and  opinions  as  to  the  education  of  the  sons  of 
the  Jacobite  lairds  ;  the  search  for  the  Prince  after  Culloden,  and 
speculations  whether  he  had  escaped  abroad  ;  the  success  of  Ard- 
sheal,  Ludovick  Cameron,  and  Cluny  in  remaining  in  hiding  ;  the 
trials  and  executions  of  Jacobites,  and,  in  particular,  Tirindrish ; 
an  alleged  visit  of  emissaries  from  the  Prince  to  Cluny  in  his 
hiding-place ;  the  prosecution  of  Glenure's  murderers,  and  refer- 
ences to  James  Mor  Drummond  or  Macgregor,  and  to  Admiral 
Byng's  trial.  The  letters  from  members  of  Barcaldine's  family, 
several  of  whom  were  soldiers,  serving  in  regiments  of  the  British 
army,  are  full  of  interest,  relating  personal  incidents  during  the 
campaign,  1745  46,  in  the  American  war,  at  the  assault  on 
Ticonderoga,  &c, ;  at  the  attack  on  Pondicherry  in  India ;  and  at 
the  capture  of  the  French  man-of-war,  the  Foudroyant,  by  the 
British  ship  Monmouth,  on  board  of  which  the  writer  of  the  letter, 
a  young  officer  in  command  of  a  small  party  of  General  Whit- 
more's  regiment  from  Gibraltar,  only  thirty  men,  took  part. 
Many  letters  relate  to  the  murder  of  Colin  Campbell  of  Glenure, 


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122  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

and  the  trial  and  execution  of  James  Stewart  of  Acharn  ;  to  the 
attempts  to  effect  the  arrest  of  Allan  Breck,  and  the  suspicion 
attaching  to  Fasnacloich  and  others  ;  some  letters  refer  to  the 
trial  and  execution  of  Dr  Archibald  Cameron,  and  some  to  the 
arrest  of  Cameron  of  Fassifern. 

It  will  probably  be  most  convenient  to  give  the  correspondence 
arranged  chronologically,  as  in  many  cases  letters  from  one  person 
help  to  explain  allusions  in  letters  from  others. 

I  beg  to  draw  attention  to  a  long  and  carefully  prepared 
"  Memorial"  (as  it  is  called)  drawn  up  by  Lord  Glenorchy  with  a 
view  to  clear  John  Campbell  of  Barcaldine  and  his  half-brother, 
Colin  of  Glewure,  from  the  suspicion  of  having  any  Jacobite 
tendencies  while  engaged  as  Factors  on  forfeited  estates ;  it  is 
undated,  but  probably  belongs  to  the  year  1750,  and  contains 
interesting  information  about  his  two  kinsmen  and  protegees, 
whose  grandfather,  Alexander,  had  been  Chamberlain  on  the 
Breadalbane  estates  at  the  time  of  the  Glencoe  massacre. 

I  shall  commeuce  by  giving  a  short  account  of  the  Barcaldine 
family,  as  without  this  it  is  often  difficult  to  understand  the 
allusions,  and  to  know  who  the  writer  of  a  given  letter  is  :  many 
of  the  writers  were  members  of  the  Clan  Campbell,  but  pretty 
widely  connected  by  marriage,  e.g.,  with  the  Camerons  of  Lochiel, 
Mackays  of  Bighouse,  Sinclairs  of  Ulbster,  and  Sinclairs  Earls  of 
Caithness.  I  shall  also  show  briefly  the  connection  between  the 
Lochiel  family  and  that  of  Glenorchy  and  its  cadet  Barcaldine, 
and  also  that  of  Achalader. 

D.  W. 

The  families  of  Campbell  of  Achalader  and  Campbell  of  Bar- 
caldine were  both  cadets  of  the  Glenorchy  family  ;  the  first  of  the 
former  is  said  to  have  been  a  son  of  Sir  Colin,  6th  of  Glenorchy, 
but  I  understand  his  uame  is  not  given  in  the  Black  Book  of  Tay- 
mouth  as  one  of  his  sons  ;  he  got  a  tack  of  the  lands  of  Achalader 
for  90  years  from  Sir  Colin  in  1567,  and  according  to  the  family 
papers  was  an  only  child  of  Sir  Colin  by  his  first  marriage  with 
[Margaret]  daughter  of  Grahame  of  Inchbraikie,  others  say  with  a 
Margaret  Stewart,  daughter  of  Alexander  Stewart,  Bishop  of 
Inveraray,  and  widow  of  Peter  Grahame  of  Inchbraikie.  The  first 
of  the  latter  (the  Barcaldines)  is  said  to  have  been  a  son  of  Sir 
Duncan,  7th  of  Glenorchy  and  1st  Bart.,  known  as  "  Donacha 
Dubh  a  Churraichd"  and  also  as  "  nan  Caistealan,"  from  his 
owning  seven  Castles,  viz.,  Balloch  (or  Taymouth),  Finlarig, 
Edinample,  Lochdochart,  Culchurn,  Achalader,  and  Barcaldine. 


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The  Big  house  Papers.  123 

The  above  mentioned  tack  for  90  years  was  granted  by  Sir 
Colin  in  favour  of  Gillespie  Campbell,  known  as  Gillespie  Dubh 
Mor,  of  the  lands  of  Achalandour  in  Glenorchy,  and  mention  is 
found  uuder  date  1683,  among  other  names  within  the  lands  of 
Glenorchy,  of  John  MacPhatric  vie  Gillespie  in  Achalandour. — See 
a  Hist,  of  the  Campbells  of  Melfort  (supplement).  In  General 
Stewart  of  Garth's  "Sketches  of  the  Highlanders  of  Scotland,"  it 
is  stated  in  a  note  that  '  during  55  years  in  which  the  late  Mr 
Campbell  of  Achalader  had  the  charge  of  Lord  Breadalbane's 
estate  there  was  no  instance  of  tenants  going  to  law.  Their  dis- 
putes were  referred  to  the  amicable  decision  of  the  noble  proprietor 
and  his  deputy  ;  and  as  the  confidence  of  the  people  in  the  honour 
and  probity  of  both  was  unlimited,  no  man  dreamt  of  an  appeal 
from  their  decision." 

The  first  or  founder  of  the  Barcaldine  family,  though  he  does 
not  appear  to  have  been  ever  designed  as  "  of  Barcaldine,"  was 
Patrick  Campbell,  known  as  u  Para  dubh  beag  ;"  authorities  differ 
as  to  the  date  of  his  birth,  but  agree  as  to  his  being  a  son  of  the 
Sir  Duncan  of  Glenorchy  above  mentioned.  According  to  one  he 
was  the  eldest  natural  son  of  that  knight,  and  born  before  his 
marriage  with  Lady  Jean  Stewart,  daughter  of  the  Earl  of  Athole, 
which  took  place  in  or  about  1573-74 :  his  reputed  mother  was 
Janet  Burdown,  who  also  bore  a  eon  named  James  to  Sir  Duncan. 
Para  is  said  to  have  got  a  charter  from  his  father  of  the  lands  of 
Dalmarglen,  near  Innerzeldies,  in  1596  (but  possibly  in  childhood), 
and  his  brother  James  is  said  to  be  mentioned  in  that  charter. 
On  the  other  hand  Para's  tombstone  in  the  burial  ground  at 
Ardchattan  Priory  bears  that  he  died  in  1678,  aged  86,  which 
would  make  the  date  of  his  birth  1592. 

Sir  Duncan  had  no  less  than  three  sons  named  Patrick,  besides 
a  brother  of  that  name,  viz.  : — 1.  Para  dubh  beag;  2.  Para  dubh 
mor,  a  natural  son,  the  first  of  the  family  of  Edinchip,  a  property 
granted  him  in  1620  by  his  father,  from  whom  he  had  previously 
got  the  lands  of  Murlagan  beag  in  Glenlochy,  parish  of  Kenmore  : 
he  was  also  ancestor  of  the  Campbells  of  Ardeonaig,  later 
of  Lochend  ;  3.  Another  son,  Patrick,  was  legitimate,  being  Sir 
Duncan's  eldest  son  by  his  second  spouse,  Elizabeth  Sinclair  :  "  he 
got  from  him  Stakir  and  Culdares,  &c,  in  1625." 

Returning  to  Para  dubh  beag,  we  find  that  "  Sir  Duncan  gave 
the  three  merk  lands  of  Kingart  to  Para  dubh  beag,  Patrick 
Campbell  *  fiar  of  Dalmarglen,'  his  natural  son."  I  have  no  date 
for  this,  but  perhaps  it  was  on  his  marriage,  for  I  am  also  told 
that  Para  on   his  marriage   is   designed   "  fiar  of   Dalmarglen." 


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124  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

Again,  "  Sir  Duucan's  natural  son  James  coft  the  lands  of  Inner- 
zeldies  in  June  1655."  These  lands  probably  fell  on  the  death  of 
James  to  his  brother  Para,  as  mention  occurs  later  of  Patrick  of 
Innerzeldies.  Again,  "  Donald  Campbell  and  Patrick  Innerzeldies, 
natural  sons  of  Sir  Duncan  Campbell  of  Glenorchy,  legitima  ed 
under  the  Great  Seal.',  1  have  no  date  for  this,  but  am  told  that 
an  extract  has  been  obtained  from  Register  in  Edinburgh,  and 
that  this  must  refer  to  Para  dubh  beag,  who  was  afterwards  "  of 
Innerzeldies."  Again,  Sir  Robert  of  Glenorchy,  son  of  Sir  Duncan, 
gave  to  John  Campbell,  lawful  son  to  Patrick  Campbell  of  Inner- 
zeldies, going  in  the  Marquis  of  Argyle's  troop  to  England,  horses, 
arms,  clothes,  and  money  wrorth  the  sum  of  1000  merks." 

Thus  Para  appears  to  have  been  designed  "  fiar  of  Dalmar- 
glen," "  of  Dalmarglen,"  and  "  of  Innerzeldies,"  and  he  is  said  to 
have  exchanged  Innerzeldies  with  his  half-brother,  Sir  Colin  of 
Glenorchy,  for  Barcaldine  [from  Dunstaftnage's  notes]  ;  yet  John 
his  son  is  styled  "of  Innerzeldies"  on  26th  June,  1681,  after  the 
date  of  Para's  death,  according  to  his  tombstone  ;  but  it  was  John 
who  got  the  first  charter  of  Barcaldine. 

Most  of  the  above  information  has  been  got  for  and  sent  to 
me,  in  the  shape  of  notes  taken  from  the  Black  Book  of  Glen- 
orchy [or  Taymouth],  but  not  what  refers  to  Janet  Burdown  and 
the  charter  of  1596  of  Dalmarglen,  which  I  received  from  another 
correspondent. 

Alexander,  3rd  of  Barcaldine,  was  Chamberlain  to  John,  1st 
Earl  of  Breadalbane  ;  and  John  of  Barcaldine  and  John  of  Ach- 
alacler  were  evidently  for  some  time  factors  on  parts  of  the 
Breadalbane  estates  to  the  2nd  Earl ;  the  latter  is  perhaps  the 
Achalader  mentioned  by  General  Stewart,  who  also  states  in 
another  passage  that  "the  late  Achalader  and  his  father  were 
upwards  of  90  years  factors  to  two  successive  Earls  of  Bread- 
albane," and  quotes  the  following  from  George,  Lord  Lyttleton  : — 
"  But  of  all  I  saw  or  heard  [at  Taymouth]  few  things  excited  my 
surprise  more  than  the  learning  and  talents  of  Mr  Campbell  of 
Achalader,  factor  to  Breadalbane.  Born  and  resident  in  the 
Highlands,  I  have  seldom  seen  a  more  accomplished  gentleman, 
with  more  general  and  classical  learning." 

A  Short  Account  of  the  Family  of  Campbell  of  Barcaldine, 
mostly  taken  from  Burke's  Peerage  and  Baronetage. 

I.  Patrick  Campbell,  said  to  be  born  about  1592,  and  according 
to  his  tombstone  aged  86  in  1678,  the  first  of  the  Campbells  of 
Barcaldine  (a  son  of  Sir  Duncan  Campbell,  1st  Baronet  cf  Glen- 


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The  Big  house  Papers.  125 

orchy),  had  the  lands  of  Innerzeldies,  in  the  parish  of  Comrie,  and 
other  lands  in  Perthshire,  and  Barcaldine  in  Argyleshire.  He  was 
known  as  Para  dubh  beag.  He  married,  1st,  in  1620,  Annabel, 
daughter  of  Campbell  of  Dunstaffnage,  by  whom  he  had,  with 
other  issue,  a  son  and  heir,  John,  and  a  daughter,  Annabella,  wife 
of  John  Campbell  of  Kinloch.  He  married,  2nd,  Bethia,  daughter 
of  Murray  of  Ochtertyre,  by  whom  he  had,  with  other  children,  a 
son,1  Colin,  ancestor  of  the  Campbells  of  Achnaba.  He  was 
wounded  at  Inverlochy,  died  25th  March,  1678,  was  buried  in 
Ardchattan  Monastery,  and  succeeded  by  his  eldest  son.2 

II.  John  Campbell  of  Barcaldine,  who  married,  1st,  in  1647, 
Margaret,  daughter  of  Campbell  of  Clathic,  by  whom  he  had  a 
son,  Alexander,  his  heir ;  2nd,  a  sister  (some  say  a  daughter)  of 
Sir  Ewen  Cameron  of  Lochiel.  by  whom  he  had  another  son, 
ancestor  of  the  Campbells 'of  Balliveolau.  He  died  about  1690, 
and  was  succeeded  by  his  eldest  son.3 

III.  Alexauder  Campbell  of  Barcaldine,  who  married,  in  1676, 
Mary,  daughter  of  Colin  Campbell  of  Lochnell ;.  he  died  in  1720, 
and  was  succeeded  by  his  son.4 

IV.  Patrick  Ruadh  (his  second  but  eldest  surviving  son)  of 
Barcaldine,  born  in  1677,  who  married,  1st,  Agnes  Campbell,  last 
of  the  family  of  Campbell  of  Kilmun,  by  whom  he  had  issue  : — 

1  Colin,  son  of  Patrick,  1st  Laird  of  Barcaldine,  is  said  to  have  been  min- 
ister of  Ardchattan  and  Muckairn  for  nearly  60  years  ;  b.  1644,  d.  1726. 

2  His  children  by  first  marriage  were,  according  to  one  authority — 1, 
John  ;  2,  Alexander ;  3,  Duncan  ;  4,  Donald  Glas,  and  three  daughters,  the 
2nd,  Margaret,  married  John  Campbell  of  Keithock  ;  and  by  his  second  mar- 
riage 4  sons  and  5  daughters. 

According  to  another  pedigree,  by  first  marriage — 1,  John  ;  2,  Jean, 
married  Archibald  Campbell  of  Lix ;  3,  Annabel,  married  John  Campbell, 
Kinloch  ;  3,  Gilies,  married  Colin  Campbell  of  Bragleen  ;  and  by  second 
marriage — 1,  Colin,  ancestor  of  Achnaba  ;  2,  William,  minister  of  Balquhidder  ; 
3,  Duncan  of  Blarcherin  ;  4,  Alexander  of  Glenairm  ;  5,  Donald  Glas  of  Inver- 
inan  ;  6,  a  daughter,  married  Maclntyre,  wadsetter  of  Glenoe  ;  7,  a  daughter, 

married  to  Robert,  son  of ,  otherwise  to  Stewart  of  Appin  ;  8,  a  daughter, 

married  to  Donald  Campbell  of  the  house  of  Kirkton  ;  9,  a  daughter,  married 
to  Colin  Campbell,  South  Ardchattan. 

3  Issue  by  2nd  wife — 1,  Colin  of  Balliveolan  ;  2,  Duncan  of  Auch  ; 
3,  Robert  of  Dalmally ;  4,  Allan  or  Alexander  of  Invei-eich  ;  5,  Annabel, 
married  Alexander  Stewart  of  Balachulish  ;  6,  Isobel,  married  Cameron  of 
Kinlochleven  ;  7,  Margt.,  married  Macdougall  of  Corrielorn  ;  8,  Barbara,  mar- 
ried Patrick,  son  to  Campbell  of  Auchnara  ;  9,  Catharine,  married  Archibald, 
son  to  James  Campbell  of  Lix.  The  Christian  name  of  John  Campbell  of 
Barcaldine's  wife  of  the  Lochiel  family  is  given  as  Isobel. 

4  Other  sons,  John  of  Corries,  James  of  Raray,  Colin  Dubh,  Alexander, 
and  5  daughters. 


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126  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

1.  John  of  Barcaldiuc,  who  succeeded  his  father. 

(1).  Anne,  married  Charles  Campbell  of  Ardchattan. 
Patrick  of  Barcaldine  married,  2nd,  in  1707,  Lucia  (otherwise 
Luisa),  daughter  of  Sir  Ewen  Cameron  of  Lochiel,  by  whom   he 
.had  issue. 

2.  Colin  of  Glenure.  who  served  in  Loudon's  Highlanders  in 

Scotland  and  abroad,  aud  retired  after  the  peace  ;  that 
regiment  was  disbanded  in  1748.  He  was  factor  for 
Government  on  the  forfeited  estates  of  Stewart  of  Ard- 
sheil,  of  Cameron  of  Callart,  and  of  Mamore,  part  of  that 
of  Cameron  of  Lochiel  :  murdered  on  14th  May,  1752, 
by  Allan  Breck  Stewart  or  some  assassin  unknown,  when 
his  brother  Duncan  succeeded  as  heir  male  to  Glenure. 
He  married  9th  May,  1749,  Janet,  eldest  daughter  of 
Colonel  the  Hon.  Hugh  Mackay  of  Bighouse,  son  of 
Lord  Reay,  and  had  issue  three  daughters  : — 

(1).  Louisa,  who  inherited  the  estate  of  Bighouse  on  the 
death  of  her  grandfather  in  1770  ;  she  married,  11th 
June,  1768,  her  cousin,  George  Mackay  of  Island- 
handa,  and  had  issue  19  children.  [Note. — The  Hon. 
Hugh  Mackay's  daughter,  Kobina,  married  William 
Baillie  of  Rosshall  (or  Rosehall),  in  Sutherland,  2nd 
son  of  Alex.  Baillie  of  Dochfour]. 

(2).  Elizabeth,  died  unmarried. 

(3).  Colina,  born  posthumous,  married  James  Baillie,  Esq. 
of  Ealing  Grove,  Middlesex,  merchant  in  London,  2nd 
son  of  Hugh  Baillie,  Esq.  <,f  Dochfour,  Inverness-shire, 
and  had  issue. 

3.  Donald,  Surgeon  R.N.,  died  unmarried  in  the  West  Indies. 

4.  Alexander,  a  Lieutenant,  and  perhaps  afterwards  Captain, 

in  Loudon's  Highlanders,  but  perhaps  a  Lieutenant 
in  Montgomery's  Highlanders  in  1757,  wounded  at 
Louisberg  in  1758,  died  at  Quebec  1759.1 

5.  Duncan,  of  whom  presently. 

"  6.  Robert,  a  merchant  at  Stirling,  apparently  married,  with 
issue,  and  had  a  son  Patrick. 
7.  Archibald,  an  officer  of  the  army. 

1  Among  the  officers  in  Loudon's  Highlanders  (raised  in  1745)  were 
Patrick  CM  son  of  Achallader  ;  Alexander  C,  brother  to  Barcaldine  ;  Colin  C. 
of  Glenure.  A  Lieut.  Alexr.  C.  (Balcaldine)  was  wounded  at  capture  of  Louis- 
bourg  in  1 758,  probably  an  officer  in  Montgomery's  Highlanders  or  in  Fraser's 
Highlanders. 


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The  Big  house  Papers.  127 

8.  Allan,  an  officer  in  one  of  the  three  Companies  of  Black 
Watch  raised  in  1 745 ;  he  served  many  years  in  that 
regiment,  and  was  afterwards  a  general  officer. 
(2).  Isobel,  married  John  Campbell  of  Achallader,  her  first 
cousin,  their  mothers  being  daughters  of  Sir  Ewen 
Cameron  of  Lochiel.     [JVbte.— »Achallader  begins  his 
letter  to  Barcaldine  "  My  dear  Brother."] 
(3).  Mary,  married  Alexander  Macdougall  of  Dunolly. 
(4).  Annabel,  married  Archibald  Campbell  of  Melfort. 
(5).  Jane,  married  Campbell  of  Edinchip. 
Patrick  Campbell  of  Barcaldine  died  1738,  and  was  succeeded 
by  his  son. 

V.  John  Campbell  of  Barcaldine,  born  approximately  about 
1700,  one  of  Lord  Breadalbane's  factors  on  part  of  his  estate,  a 
captain  in  Argyllshire  Militia  in  1745,  later  factor  on  the  forfeited 
Perth  estate,  and  living  at  Crieff;  a  J.P.  in  Argyle  and  Perth 
shires,  a  Commissioner  of  Supply,  and  a  D.L.;  he  married  Margaret, 
daughter  of  Campbell  of  Keithock,  and  had  issue — 

1.  Alexander,  born  about   1729;  at  16  years  old  he  joined 

the  Argyleshire  Militia  as  a  volunteer  at  his  own  expense, 
served  throughout  the  rising  in  '45  and  '46,  and  owing 
to  his  services  got  the  command  of  one  of  the  Indepen- 
dent Companies  in  the  Expedition  to  the  East  Indies 
under  Admiral  Boscawen  in  1748,  appointed  Major  in 
Montgomery's  Highlanders  in   1757;    Lieut. -Col.    48th 
Regt.,  1759;  and  a  Colonel  in  the  army  August  1777  ; 
Deputy  Governor  of  Fort-George,   1771.      He  married 
1st  August,  1765,  Helen,  born  8th  June,  1747,  daughter 
of  George  Sinclair,  and  sister  of   the  Right  Hon.  Sir 
John  Sinclair  of  Ulbster,  M.P.,  and  had  issue — 
1.  Patrick,  who  died  unmarried  in  1783. 
(i).  Janet,  married  ^Eneas  Mackay  of  Scotstown. 
(2).  Matilda,  who  died  unmarried. 

(3).  Jean,  married  at  Thurso  Castle  2nd  January,  1784,  to 
James,  1 2th  Earl  of  Caithness,  and  died  at  Edinburgh, 
2nd  April,  1853,  leaving  issue. 
(4).  Isobel,  born  1773. 
Colonel  Alexr.  Campbell  never  succeeded  to  the  family  estate  ; 
he  died  at  Bath,  22nd  April,  1779  ;  his  widow  died  at  Edinburgh 
5th  April,  1787,  aged  40. 

2.  Patrick,   referred   to   in  letter   No.    81,  from  his  uncle, 

Robert. 


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128  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

3.  David,  a  W.S.,  Edinburgh,  who  evidently  got  into  some 

trouble,  and  went  to  New  York;  he  married  a  Miss 
Campbell  of  the  Argyll  family. 

4.  Colin,   a  letter  from  him  dated  14th  Deer.,  1762  ;  died 

unmarried,  in  Grenada,  West  Indies. 
Others,  including  probably  George,  in  General  Gage's  regi- 
ment ;  he  died  unmarried.  Mungo,  a  Lt.-Col.  killed  at 
Fort-Montgomerie,  N.  America,  in  command  of  52nd 
Regiment.  I  understand  he  was  a  natural  son,  and 
he  was  with  Glenure,  his  uncle,  when  the  former  was 
murdered  by  Allan  Breck.  Col.  Mungo  was  married,  and 
had  issue. 

(1).  Margaret,  married  John  Campbell  of  Danna. 

(2).  Annie,  married  Capt.  Trapaud. 

(3).  Matilda,  married  Capt.  Neil  Campbell  of  Duntroon. 

John  Campbell  of  Barcaldine,  being  deeply  involved  in  debt, 
sold  the  family  estates  to  his  half  brother,  Duncan,  and  so  was 
succeeded  by — 

VI.  Duncan  Campbell  of  Barcaldine  and  Glenure,  fifth  son 
(but  fourth  by  the  second  marriage)  of  Patrick  Campbell  of 
Barcaldine  ;  he  was  born  about  1716,  was  at  one  time  Sheriff- 
Substitute  for  Perthshire  at  Killin  ;  married,  in  1744,  Mary, 
daughter  of  Alexander  Macpherson,  Esq.,  and  sister  of  Sir  James 
Macpherson,  Bart.,  and  died  in  1784,  having  had  issue — 

1.  Alexander,  his  heir. 

2.  Patrick,  appointed   Lieutenant  77th  Atholl  Highlanders, 

1778  ;  captain  in  Wallers  Corps  in  1783,  afterwards  a 
major  ;  he  appears  to  have  become  blind,  and  lived  later 
with  his  cousin  at  Thurso  Castle  ;  married  a  daughter 
of  James  Pearsall  of  New  York,  and  had  issue. 

3.  James,  Lieut.  42nd,  and  later  captain  77th  Atholl  High- 

landers, 1777,  died  1782. 

4.  Colin,  Captain  2nd  Batt.  42nd,  raised  1780;  wounded  at 

Paniane,  1782. 

5.  Hugh,  an  officer  in  the  army ;  a  Lieut,  in  Fraser's  High- 

landers,   1775;    married   a   daughter  of  a   brother   of 
Cameron  of  Fassifern. 
iJ.  William,     appointed    Ensign    77th,    1782  ;    Lieut.    1783, 

placed  on  half-pay  on  reduction  1783. 
(1).  Lucy,  married  Sir  Ewen  Cameron,  Bart,  of  Fassifern. 
Duncan  of  Barcaldine  and  Glenure  was  succeeded  by  his  eldest 
Beta 


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The  Big  house  Papers.  129 

VII  Alexander  Campbell  of  Barcaldine  and  Glenure,  a  mem- 
ber of  the  Faculty  of  Advocates,  born  30th  April,  1745,  married 
22nd  September,  1785,  Mary,  daughter  of  John  Campbell,  Esq.,  of 
Edinburgh,  and  died  17th  March,  1800,  having  had  issue : — 

1.  Duncan,  created  a  Baronet. 

2.  John,  died  s.p.  in  1808. 

3.  Peter  William,  in  the  Military  Service  of  the  E.I.  Com- 

pany; died  in  Bengal  in  1819  s.p. 

4.  Colin  Alexander,  Major  74th  Foot,  born  23rd  September, 

1796,  died  s.p.  10th  March,  1863. 
(1).  Caroline  Louisa  Anne,  died  unmarried  19th  March,  1848. 
(2).  Maria  Helen,  married  8th  October,  1818,  the  Rev.  Hugh 

Fraser,  Ardchattan,  and  died  4th  January,  1862,  having 

had  issue. 

Alexander  Campbell  of  Barcaldine  and  Glenure  died  1800,  and 
was  succeeded  by  his  eldest  son. 

VIII.  Sir  Duncan  Campbell  of  Barcaldine  and  Glenure,  born 
3rd  July,  1786,  created  a  Bart.  30th  September,  1831 ;  was 
Captain  in  the  Scots  Fusilier  Guards ;  served  at  Copenhagen,  in 
Walcheren  Expedition,  and  in  Peninsula ;  acted  as  A.D.C.  to  his 
cousin,  General  Sir  Alex.  Campbell,  of  the  Achalader  family,  at 
Talavera ;  a  Magistrate  and  D.L.  for  Argyleshire ;  he  married 
22nd  February,  1815,  Elizabeth  Dreghorn,  daughter  of  James 
Dennistoun  of  Dennistoun,  Co.  Dumbarton,  and  had 

1.  Alexander,  2nd  Bart.,  born  1819,  and  six  other  sons  and 
four  daughters.  Sir  Duncan  died  2nd  April,  1842,  and 
was  succeeded  by  his  eldest  son. 

IX.  Sir  Alexander  Campbell,  J. P.,  Sergeant-at-Arms  in  the 
Queen's  Household,  Captain  Argyle  and  Bute  Militia ;  born  15th 
June,  1819,  married  1855  Harriette,  daughter  of  Admiral  Henry 
Collier,  R.N.,  and  had  issue  ; — 

1 .  Duncau  Alexander  Dundas,  present  Bart. 

2.  Eric  Reginald  Duncan,  Captain  2nd  Battalion  P.V.  Royal 

Irish  Fusiliers,  born  28th  November,  1857. 
(1).  Harriette  Beatrice  Mabel. 
(2).  Flora  Mary  Muriel. 
Sir  Alexander  died  11th  December,  1880,  and  was  succeeded 
by  his  eldest  son. 

X.  Sir  Duncan  Alexander  Dundas  Campbell,  Bart,  of  Barcal- 
dine, Captain  4th  Battalion  Highland  Light  Infantry,  Gentleman 
Usher  of  the  Green  Rod,  b.  4th  December,  1856. 

9 


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130  Gaelic  Society  of  Inuerness. 

Descent  of  the  Campbells  op  Achalader,  taken  from  a  Memorial 
History  of  the  Campbells  of  Melfort. 

I.  Archibald,  or  Gillespie  Dubh,  son  of  Sir  Colin  Campbell* 
sixth  laird  of  Glenorchy,  by  Margaret,  daughter  of  Bishop  Alex. 
Stewart  and  widow  of  Patrick  Graham  of  Inchbrakie,  married 
Mary,  daughter  of  John  Dubh  na  Lainne,  alias  Macgregor,  and 
had  a  son. 

II.  John  Dubh,  who  married  Mary,  daughter  of  Donald 
Stewart,  Invernayle,  whose  grandmother  on  the  father's  side  was 
a  daughter  of  Lochiel ;  they  had  a  son. 

III.  Archibald,  who  married  Margery,  daughter  of  Colin  Mac- 
pherson  of  Bear  [Qy.  Brin],  whose  mother  was  a  daughter  of  Hugh 
Fraser  of  Lovat ;  and  Margery's  mother  was  a  daughter  of  Macleod 
of  Harris ;  they  had  a  son. 

IV.  Allister  Dubh,  who  married  Agnes,  daughter  of  John 
Macnab  of  Borane,  by  Mary,  daughter  of  Duncan  Campbell  of 
Glenlyon ;  John  Macnab's  mother  was  Catharine,  daughter  of  Sir 
Duncan  Campbell  of  Glenorchy ;  they  had  a  son. 

V.  John,  who  married  in  1713,  Katharine,  daughter  of  Sir 
Ewen  Cameron  of  Lochiel,  and  had  3  sons  and  4  daughters. 

1.  John  of  Achalader. 

2.  Archibald,  of  old  78th  (Campbell's  Highlanders),  killed  in 

German  War  at  Felinghausen,  1761,  as  Major. 

3.  Patrick,    joined    Loudon's    Highlanders,    1745,   died    in 

America. 
(1).  Louisa,  married  Campbell  of  Achline. 
(2).  Jane,  married  Cameron  of  Fassifern,  her  cousin,  father 

of  Sir  Ewen  of  Fassifern. 
(3).   Anne,  married  Patrick  (Para  Dubh  an  Achaidh)  Camp- 
bell of  Auch. 
(4).  Margaret,  died  unmarried. 
VI.  John  of  Achalader  married  his  cousin,  Isabella,  daughter 
of  Patrick  Campbell  of  Barcaldine,  and  had  issue. 

1.  John,     Lieut.-Col.     Breadalbane     Fencibles,    died     1799 

unmarried. 

2.  Patrick,  married  Ann,  daughter  of Livingston,  Esq. 

3.  Archibald,  Colonel   80th   Regiment,   died  1825,  married 

Margaret,  daughter  of  Admiral  Edwards. 

4.  Sir  Alexander,  K.C.B.  and  Bart.,  who  married  1st,  Olympia 

Elizabeth,  daughter  of  William  Mosshead,  from  whom  is 
descended  Sir  Alex.  Cockburn  Campbell,  and  2ndly, 
Elizabeth  Ann,  daughter  of  liev.  F.  Pemberton. 


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The  Bighouse  P&pers.  131 

5.  Colina,  married  John  Campbell  of  Melfort,  son  of  Archibald 

(Melfort),  by  Annabel,  daughter  of  Patrick  Campbell  of 
Barcaldine. 

6.  Louisa  Maxwell,  married  Patrick  Macdougall  of  Macdougall 

(Dunollie),  whose  mother  was  Mary,  daughter  of  Patrick 
Campbell  of  Barcaldine,  by  his  wife  Lucia,  daughter  of 
Sir  Ewen  Cameron  of  Lochiel. 

VII.  Patrick  of  Achalader,  2nd  son  of  John,  married  Ann* 

-daughter   of Livingston ;   he   bought   Ballied,    now   called 

Achalader,  and  died  there  1811.     They  had  an  only  child  John 
Livingston. 

VIII.  John  Livingston  of  the  Coldstream  Guards  married  Ann, 
-daughter  of  Reginald  Macneil  of  Barra,  by  whom  he  had  a  son, 
John  Livingston,  father  of  the  present  representative  of  the  family 
Major  John  Colin  Livingston  Campbell,  R.E.,  of  Achalader,  and  a 
•daughter  Jane. 

The  Camerons  of  Lochiel,  from  Sir  Ewbn  (Evandhu),  as  given  in 
"Burke's  Landed  Gentry,"  edit.  1846,  with  some  additions. 

Sir  Ewen  Cameron  of  Lochiel,  born  1629,  married 

1st,  Mary,  daughter  of  Sir  Donald  Macdonald  of  Slate;  no 

issue. 

2nd,  a  daughter  of  Sir  Lachlan  Maclean  of  Dowart,  by  whom 

he  had 

1.  John,  his  heir,  who  succeeded  him. 

2.  Donald,  Maj.  in  service  of  States  of  Holland  ;  d.  s.  p.  1718. 

3.  Alan,  died  at  Rome,  in  service  of  Chev.  St  George,  leaving 

3  daughters,  of  whom  the  eldest  married  Campbell  of 
Lochdochart. 
(1).  Margaret,   married    to   Alex.    Drummond   (otherwise 

Macgregor)  of  Balhaldie. 
(2).  Anne,  married  Alan  Maclean  of  Ardgour. 
(3).  Katharine,  married  William,  brother  german  of  Sir 

Donald  Macdonald  of  Slate. 
(4).  Janet,  married  Grant  of  Glenmoriston. 
3rd,  Jean,  daughter  of  Barclay  of  Urie,  and  had  by  her 

4.  Ludovick,  married  his  cousin. 

(5).  Christian,  married  Alan  Cameron  of  Glendessary. 

(6).  Jean,  married  Macpherson  of  Cluny. 

(7).  Isobel,  married  Archibald  Cameron  of  Dungallon. 

(8).  Lucy,  married  Peter  Campbell  of  Barcaldine. 


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132  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

(9).  Ket,  married  John  Campbell  of  Achallader. 
(10).  Una,  married  Robert  Barclay  of  Ury. 
(11).  Marjory,  married  Macdonald  of  Morar. 
Note. — Sir  Ewen's  father,  John  Cameron,  yr.   of  Lochiel,  pre- 
deceased his  father,  having  married  Margaret,  eldest  daughter  of 
Sir  Robert  Campbell  <>\'  Glenorchy,  by  whom  he  had  Ewen,  who 
succeeded  his  grandfather,  and  Donald,  ancestor  of  the  Camerons 
of  Glendessary  and  Dungallon. 

Sir  Ewen  Cameron  died  in  1719,  aged  90,  and  was  succeeded 
by  his  sou,  John,  as  representative  of  the  family. 

John  Cameron  of  Lochiel,  called  John  Macewen,  had  joined  the 
Earl  of  Mar  in  1715,  for  which  he  suffered  attainder  and  forfeiture. 
He  married  Isobel,  sister  of  Sir  Duncan  Campbell  of  Lochnell,  by 
whom  he  had  issue. 

1.  Donald,  his  heir. 

2.  John,    of    Fassifern,    married   Jane,    daughter    of    John 

Campbell  of  Achalader,  his  cousin ;  father  of  Sir  Ewen 
of  Fassifern,  who  was  created  a  baronet  in  1817,  for  the 
gallant  services  of  his  son,  Colonel  John  Cameron,  who 
fell  at  Quatre  Bras  in  command  of  the  92nd. 

3.  Archibald,  a  physician,  who  was  out  in  the  '45,  escaped  to 

France,  and  was  first  a  Captain  in  Lord  Ogilvie's  regi- 
ment, then  of  Grenadiers,  and  a  Captain  in  his  brother's 
regiment,  and  probably  for  some  time  an  Army  Surgeon. 
He  appears  to  have  also  held  a  Colonel's  commission 
in  the  Spanish  service.  (See  "  Stuart  Papers,"  No. 
CCLVI.)  He  was  in  Scotland  in  the  winter  of  1749  on 
a  mission  with  Lochgarry  and  others,  when  they  got 
some  of  the  treasure  belonging  to  the  exiled  Stuarts, 
which  was  hidden  at  Locharkaig,  apparently  on  instruc- 
tions, perhaps  forged  by  some  one,  but  gave  Cluny  a 
receipt.  He  and  Lochgarry  were  again  sent  on  another 
mission  by  Prince  Charlie  towards  the  end  of  1752,  but 
the  Dr  was  apprehended  near  Inversnaid  20th  March, 
1753,  sent  to  London,  tried,  and  executed.  He  married 
Jean,  daughter  of  Archibald  Cameron  of  Dungallon,  her 
mother,  Isobel,  being  a  half-sister  of  his  father,  and  had 
by  her  four  sons  and  one  daughter. 

John  Cameron  of  Lochiel  died  at  Newport,  in  Flanders,  in  1748, 
and  was  succeeded  in  the  representation  of  the  family  by  his 
eldest  son. 


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The  Big  house  Papers.  133 

Donald  Cameron  of  Lochiel,  who  had  succeeded  to  the  family 
•estates  on  the  death  of  his  grandfather,  Sir  Ewen,  rejoined  Prince 
Charlie  in  1745.  After  the  Battle  of  Culloden  he  retired  to  France, 
a,nd  was  attainted  and  forfeited.  He  got  command  of  the 
44  Regiment  of  Albany,"  with  power  of  naming  his  own  officers,  and 
was  enabled  to  Mve  suitably  to  his  rank.  He  married  Anne, 
daughter  of  Sir  James  Campbell,  fifth  baronet  of  Auchenbreck,  by 
whom  he  left  at  his  death  (in  the  same  year  as  his  father),  25th 
October,  1748— 

1.  John,  his  heir. 

2.  James,  Captain  in  the  Royal  Regiment  of  Scots  in  France; 

died  unmarried  in  1759. 

3.  Charles,  who  succeeded  his  brother,  John. 

(1).  Isobel,  married  Colonel  Mores  in  the  French  service. 

(2).  Janet,  died  in  a  convent  at  Paris. 

(3).  Henri et,  married  Captain  Portin  in  the  French  service. 

(4).  Donalda. 
John  Cameron  of  Lochiel  succeeded  his  father,  Donald ;  he 
had  served  as  a  Captain  in  his  father's  regiment,  and,  after  his 
death,  in  the  Royal  Scots.  He  returned  to  Scotland  in  1759,  and 
died  in  1762,  when  he  was  succeeded  by  his  brother,  Charles 
-Can.eron  of  Lochiel,  great-grandfather  of  the  present  Lochiel. 

Selections  from  the  Bighouse  Papers, 
no.  I. 

*'  Letter  from  John,  first  Earl  of  Breadalbane,  to  Alexander 
Campbell  of  Barcaldine,  dated  Edinburgh,  26th  May,  1692. 
Note. — It  is  addressed  '  ffor  Alexr.  Campbell  of  Barcaldine/ 
and  doequeted  *  Lr.  anent  the  Glenco  men.' 

"Edr.  26  May  1692. 
"  I  did  yesterday  receive  yours  of  the  18th  instant :  I  have 
already  taken  too  much  pains  to  blame  all  persons  who  hade  t 
accessione  to  the  killing  of  the  Glencoe  men,  iff  they  cane  be 
made  beleive  that  I  had  the  lest  thought  yrof :  and  amongst  other 
lyes  this  enclosed  is  absolutely  false  in  matter  of  fact  ffor  Major 
Fforbes  wes  come  from  London  befor  I  cam  yr.  and  I  met  ym. 
upon  the  road  many  weeks  befor  that  misfortoune  of  Glencoe ; 
nor  doe  I  believe  that  C.  A.1  writt  any  Letter  or  any  such  thing 
to  Glengarie.  I  wish  to  know  the  person  that  saw  the  Letter  or 
M.  A's  Letter  which  I  also  little  belive  to  have  been  writen.     Iff 

1  Perhaps  Campbell  of  Ardkinglass,  Sheriff  of  Argyle. 

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134  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

ye  Glencoe  men  will  not  be  satisfyed  that  I  am  also  Inocent  of 
that  affaire  as  the  Chyld  unborne  is  I  will  not  take  any  more 
pains  upon  ym.  They  may  understand  its  all  malice — to  hound 
ym.  at  me  that  maks  this  discourse  and  could  tell  ym.  that  iff 
they  prefer  the  ffalse  sugestiones  of  enemies  to  the  trewths  yrof .  I 
assure  you  I  doe  warne  them  that  in  case  they  doe  me  any  hurt 
they  will  ffynd  me  yr.  enemie  which  is  the  desyre  of  many  persons. 
But  I  expect  they  will  be  better  advysed  and  take  all  ye  good  I 
can  doe  for  ym.  in  this  the  tyme  of  their  miserie,  and  ffor  soe 
doing  let  ym.  offer  to  doe  me  all  the  service  in  yr.  power  to 
dissappoynt  such  designs.  I  sent  my  advyse  already  how  they 
should  carie  themselves,  which  is  all  at  present.  But  yt.  I  assuire 
you  I  never  spock  of  Glencoe  nor  Glencoe  men  at  London  nor 
elseqr.  to  my  Lord  A. l  untill  I  heird  off  that  slaughter  and  yn.  I 
expostulat  extreamly  with  ym.  their  men  should  be  accessorie  to 
it,  and  yir  answer  was  that  they  behoved  to  obey  orders. — 
I  remaine,  (Sd.).        "  Breapalbane." 


"  Notarial  Copy  of  Decreet  before  the  Court  of  Justiciary  at 
Inverness  at  the  instance  of  James  Cumiug  of  Dalshangie 
and  others  against  John  Macdonald  of  Polveig  Laird  of 
Glenco  and  others. 

"20th  Deer.  1695. 
"  Justiciary  Court  holden  within  the  Tolbooth  of  Inverness  on 
the  Twentieth  day  of  December  One  thousand  six  hundred  and 
ninety-five  years  Be  Sir  Robert  Gordon  of  Gordonstoun  [left 
blank],  Cuming  of  Altyre,  Sir  Alexander-  M'Kenzie  of  Coul,  Sir 
Donald  Bayn  of  Tulloch,  Mr  Alexr.  Rose  <>f  Clava,  Mr  Simon 
M'Kenzie  of  Taraden,  Mr  David  Poison  of  Kinmylies,  Mr  William 
M'Intosh  of  Aberarder,  Farquhar  M'Gillivray  of  Dunmaglass, 
Alex.  Sutherland  of  Pronsie,  Mr  .John  Gordon  of  Carroll,  Sheriff" 
Depute  of  Sutherland,  Commissioners  of  Justiciary  appoiuted  for 
secureing  the  Peace  of  the  Highlands  within  the  Northern  District 
conveened  for  the  time,  when  the  said  Sir  Robert  Gordon  was- 
chosen  Preses  of  the  meeting  curia  legitime  affirmata  That  day 
annent  the  Lybelled  Precept  Raised  and  pursued  before  the  saids 
Commissioners  at  the  instance  of  James  Cuming  of  Dalshangie 
elder,  James  Cuming  younger  thereof,  Alexr.  Roy  M'Comas  there, 

1  "  My  Lord  A."  Perhaps  the  Lord  Advocate,  but  more  probably  Lord 
Aberuchill,  who  with  Stair  is  said  to  have  kept  back  the  date  of  M'lan's. 
taking  the  oath. 


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The  Bighouse  Papers.  135 

Donald  M* William  there,   and  Duncan   M 'William  Bayn   there, 
Tennants  and  Servants  there,  Parties  Leased1  and  David  Cuming 
Pro'r  fiscal  of  the  said  Court  for  His  Majestie's  interest  against 
John  Macdonald  of  Polveig  Laird  of  Glencoe,  Ranald  M'Donald  of 
Leckinloym,  John  M'Innish  vie  Allan  in  Laraclj,  Donald  M'Donald 
of  Achatriechatan,  Donald  M'Alister  Roy  in  Brealerlaid,  Alexander 
M'Donald  Brother  to  Glenkoe,  Angus  M'Donald  alias  M'Alister 
Roy  in  Stroan,  Alexander  Cameron  in  Gargoich  and  against  Robert 
Steuart  of  Appin  and  Donald  Steuart  Tutor  of  Appin  as  Masters 
to   the  forenamed   persons,  dwelling  on  their   lands   Make   and 
mention  that  albeit  the  Common  Law,   Municipall  Laws  dayly 
custome  and  practig  of  this  kingdom  the  crimes  of  theft,  recept  of 
theft,  stouth  of  robberies  oppressions  and  others  of  the  like  nature 
be  expressly  forbidden  and  the  Committers  thereof   punishable 
accordingly,    Yet  true   it  is  and   of   verity  that  the  forenamed 
persons  complained  upon  are  Acters,  Receptors  art  and  part  of  the 
saidis  crimes  In  sua  far  as  they  with  severall  others  their  accom- 
plices of  their  causing  sending  hounding  out  Command  Precept 
assistance  and  Ratihabitione  came  to  the  bounds  of  the  lands  of 
Dalshangie  houses  and  folds  thereof,   in  the  month  of  October 
one  thousand  six  hundred  and  eightie  nine  years  upon  one  or  other 
of  the  days  of  the  said  month,  and  therefrae  most  masterfully 
Robbed  wrongously  intromitted  with  and  away   took  from  the 
saids  complra.  seven  score  fifteen  cows  great  and  small,  worth  Ten 
Pounds  Scots  money  the  piece  overhead,  Item  Threttie  twa  piece 
of  horse  and  mears  worth  the  like  sum  of  Ten  Pounds  money  for- 
said  the  piece  overhead  and  the  haill  portable  household  plenishing, 
armes  pertaining  to  the  said  Tennants  above  named  worth  one 
hundred  pounds  money  forsaid,    which   cattle    horse  plenishing 
armour  and  others  forsaid  Robbed  and  masterfully  away  taken  as 
said  is  were  driven  by  the  persons  above  complained  upon  and 
their  accomplices  to  the  Lands  of  Glencoe,  Appin  and  Gargoich, 
and  the  saids  persons  there  receive  possessions  thereof,  where  they 
were  perpelled,  divided  and  disposed  of  be  them  at  their  pleasure 
Through  want  of  which  cattle,  horse  and  others  Lybelled  with  the 
Devastation  of  their  lands  and  provisions  the  Complainers  sustained 
the  damage  and  loss  of  one  thousand  pounds  money  above  written 
Besides  and  by  and  attour  the  sum  of  [left  blank]  Debursed 

and  carried  out  be  them  In  reference  to  the  Premisses,  And  there- 
fore the  persons  above  complained  upon  and  Ilk  one  of  them  in 
solidum  ought  and  should  be  Decerned  to  make  payment  to  the 

1  Leased,  i.e.,  hurt  or  injured. 

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136  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

saids  complainers  of  the  particular  avails  prices  above  written 
with  the  damage  and  expenses  above  mentioned  and  also  ought  to 
underly  the  law  for  the  criminal  part  as  accords  and  their  Rexive1 
masters  a    named  ought   to  present  them  to  that  effect  or  be 
decerned  in  solidum  with  their  said  men  in  the  Terms  of  the  Act 
of  Parliament  as  in  the  Priull.  Lybelled  precept   raised  in  the 
said  matter  at  lenth  is  contained  The  Saids  pursuers  Compearand 
personally  with  William  and  Alexr.  Cumings  writers  their  Procurs. , 
who  repeated  their  Lybell  and  craved  Decreet  conform  to  the  said 
conclusion  thereof  and  the  saids  Defenders  both  men  and  their 
saids  masteis  being  of  times  called  and  not  compearand  though 
they  were  lawfully  summond  be  John  Monro  Sheriff  and  Justiciary 
Officer  to  have  compeared  at  this  Court  to  have  answered  at  the 
saids  Pursuers- Instances  in  manner  to  the  effect  and  for  the  causes 
Lybelled  with  Certification  the  saids  Commissioners  of  Justiciary 
Held  and  hereby  Hold  the  saids  Defenders  all  pro  Confessis  and 
have  Decerned  and  hereby  Decern  them  and  ilk  one  of  them  in 
solidum  both  men  and  masters  to  make  payment  and  satisfaction 
to  the  saids  Complrs.  of  the  said  sum  of  Ten  Poands  Scots  money 
as  price  of  ilk  one  of  the  said  number  of  Seven  score  fifteen  Cows 
great  and  small  and  the  like  sum  of  Ten  Pounds  money  forsaid  as 
price  of  ilk  one  of  the  said  number  of  Threttie  tua  piece  of  horse 
and   mears  young  and  old   with  the  said  sum  of   one  hundred 
pounds  money  forsaid  as  price  of  the  household  plenishing  and 
armes  all  masterfully  wrongously  intromitted  with  and  away  taken 
in  manner  and  at  the  time  @  written  As  also  to  make  payment  of 
the  said  sum  of  one  thousand  pounds  money  forsaid  of  damage 
sustained  by  the  Pursuers  through  want  of  their  said  cattle  horse 
and  others  above  written,  devastatione  of  their  Lands  extending 
in  all  to  the  saids  prices  and  damage  to  the  sum  of  Two  thousand 
nine  hundred  and  seventy  pounds,  and  sicklike  to  make  payment 
of  the  sura  of  Two  hunder  ninety  Seven  pounds  as  the  Tenth  part 
of  the  said  haill  accumulat  sums  due  to  the  saids  Commissioners 
themselves  conform  to  their  Comnjission  which  Tenth  part  the 
Commissioners  @  named  have  unanimously  assigned  and  hereby 
assigns  to  the  saids  Pursuers,  and  have  Reconnr  ended  and  hereby 
Recommends  to  the  Commanders  of  his  Majestie's  forces  in  the 
rexive1  adjacent  Garrisons  to  give  their  aid  and  concurrence  to  the 
execution  of  this  Decreet  Because  the  saids  Defenders  both  men 
and  masters  have  been  lawfully  cited  to  have  compeared  at  this 
Court  to  the  effect  above  written,  and  that  they  nor  no  other  in 

1  Rexive  :  for  Respective, 


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The  Big  house  Papers.  137 

their  names  compeared  and  that  the  pursuers  made  faith  giveing 
their  Oath  in  Litem  upon  the  value  of  their  Cattle  horse  and 
others  above  mentioned  and  Damages  forsaicl  Therefore  the  saids 
Commissioners  of  Justiciary  have  Holden  and  hereby  Holds  the 
saids  Defenders  pro  confessis  and  gave  their  Decreet  in  manner 
above  sett  down  ordaining  all  execution  necessar  to  pass  thereupon 
in  form  as  effeirs.     Extracted  by  me  (sic  subscr.) 

"  Ja.  Baillib  Clk.  Dept. 

"  What  is  above  written  is  an  exact  copie  of  the  principall 
Decreet  of  the  date  tenor  and  contents  before  recited  without  any 
addition  thereto  or  Diminution  therefrom  being  faithfully  com- 
pared by  us  Notary s  Publick  subscribing  and  as  such  attested  by 
us  at  Inverness  the  twenty-third  day  of  November  IajvijC  and 
fifty-two  years  before  these  witnesses  Lieut.  Simon  fFraser,  son  to 
Dunballoch,  John  Greig  vintner  in  Inverness,  and  James  Cuming 
and  Donald  M'Bean  both  writers  in  Inverness. 

"  John  Macklean  [?]  wr.  N.P.     Willm.  Ffraser,  N.P. 

"  Simon  Fraser  wittness. 

"John  Grieg  witness. 

"  Donald  Macbean  [?]  wr.  witness. 

"  James  Cuming  [?]  wr.  witness." 

NO.    III. 

"  Inventar  of  the  Wrytts  &  Evident;:  of  the  Lands  and 
JfcTATE  of  Killmun  Delivered  by  Patrick  Campbell  of 
Barcaldine  ffor  himself  *>nd  in  name  and  behalf e  of  Agnes 
Campbell  his  spouse  only  Laull  Daughter  to  the  deceast 
James  Campbell  of  Killmun  to  Coll.  Alexander  Campbell  of 
ffinab.  • 

"Jmprimus,  precept  of  clare  constat  and  Charter  containing 
ane  novo-damus  by  Archibald  Marquis  of  Argyle  in  favours  of 
Archibald  Campbell  of  Kilmune  a§  son  and  air  to  Archibald 
-Campbell  his  fFather  his  airs  male  and  Assigneys  of  the  Lands  of 
Killmun e  Auchalnechar  Cafflad  Coillemeineth  Clerynie  ?  neting 
and  salmond  ffishing  and  of  certain  @  rents  therein  mentioned 
containing  several  priviledges  Dated  the  Twenty  second  day  of 
Jany.  IajvjC  and  ffyftio  eight  (1658). 

"  Item,  Sasine  following  thereupon  Dated  the  eighth  Day  of 
Apryle  IajvjC  an  fFyftie  eight  Registrat  at  Edinr.  upon  the  fyfth 
Day  of  June  yraftr. 


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138  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

"  Item,  a  Tack  of  the  Quarter  Teinds  of  Kilmune  by  John 
Bishop  of  Lessinore  to  Archibald  Campbell  of  Kilmune  Dated  the 
Sixteen  day  of  March  IajvjC  and  twelve  (1612). 

"  Item,  Ane  other  Tack  of  the  said  Teinds  by  Andrew  Bishop 
of  Lesmore  to  Archibald  Campbell,  Provost  of  Kilmune  Dated  the 
seventh  day  of  January  IajvjC  &  thirty  three  (1633). 

"  Item,  Charter  by  Archibald  Earle  of  Argyle .  to  Duncan 
M'Eanduy  vie  Angus  alias  M'Laucblan  of  the  four  merk  land  of 
Ardnadane  Dated  the  penult  of  June  IajvC  &  nynty  four  (1594). 

"  Item,  Lyferent  Charter  by  Duncan  M'Lanehlan  of  Ardnadan 
to  Eliz  ibeth  Campbell  alias  nean  vie  ean  of  two  Merk  land  of  t!  e 
said  ffour  merk  land  of  Ardnadan  Dated  the  last  day  of  July 
LvjvC  and  nyntie  seven  (1597). 

"  Item,  Disposition  by  John  M'Lauchlan  eldest  son  and 
apparent  air  to  the  said  Duncan  M'Eanduy  vie  Angus  alias. 
M'Lachlane  of  Arnadane  to  Archibald  Campbell  of  Kilmune  of  the 
said  flour  merk  land  of  Ardnadane  Dated  the  Eight  day  of 
December  IajviC  and  thirtie  six  (1636). 

"  Item,  Instrument  of  Resignatione  following  thereupon  Dated 
the  Twentie  third  day  of  November  IajviC  and  ffourtie  one  (1641). 

"Item,  Charter  by  Archibald  Marques  of  Argyle  upon  the 
said  Resignatione  of  the  said  Lands  of  Ardnadane  in  favour  of  the 
said  Archibald  Campbell  of  Kilmune  Dated  at  Edinr.  the  Twenty 
seventh  day  of  Nover.  IajviC  &  ffourtie  one  (1641). 

"  Item,  the  said  Archibald  Campbell  of  Kilmune  his  gene  rail 
Retour  as  air  to  his  ffather  Dated  the  second  day  of  December 
IajviC  and  ffourtie  six  (1646).  * 

"  Item,  ffew  Charter  of  the  Lands  of  ffinbacan  by  Mr  Niel 
Campbell  Bishop  of  Argyle  to  Duncan  Dow  M'Lachlane  of  Ardna- 
dane and  Allason  Nian  vie  ean  his  spouse  Dated  the  Twenty 
seventh  day  Of  March  IajvC  and  ninetie  eight  (1598). 

"  Item,  Contract  of  Wodset  past  betwixt  Coline  Campbell  of 
Straquhar  with  consent  of  Anna  Campbell  his  spouse  on  the  one 
part  and  Jannet  ffraser  Relict  of  uniqll.  Archibald  Campbell  of 
Kilmune  and  Archibald  Campbell  their  son  with  consent  of  his" 
Curators  on  the  other  part  whereby  for  the  soume  of  six  thousand 
merks  the  lands  of  Craigen  and  others  therein  contained  are 
wodset  to  her  in  liferent  and  to  her  said  son  in  ffie  which  Contract 
is  dated  the  eight  day  of  Novemt  er  IajvjC  and  ffyftie  one  (1651). 

"  Item,  Charter  by  the  said  Coline  Campbell  of  Straquhar  with 
consent  of  his  said  spouse  of  the  said  three  merk  Land  of  Craigen 
and  others  therein  contained  In  favours  of  the  said  Jannet  ifrazer 
Relict  of  uraqll  Archibald  Campbell  of  Kilmune  in  Life-rent  and 


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The  Big  house  Papers,  139* 

Archibald  Campbell  her  son  in  me  Dated  the  ffourteen  Day  of 
March  IajvjC  and  ffyftie  ffour  (1654). 

"  Item,  Sasine  thereon  of  the  same  date  Registrat  at  Edr.  the 
tenth  day  of  April  e  yr  aftr. 

"  Item,  prinll  bond  by  Coline  Campbell  of  Straquhir  To  Archi- 
bald Campbell  of  Kilmune  for  the  sou  me  of  aue  thousand  merks 
Scots  with  a  rent  and  penalty  Dated  the  Sixth  day  of  ffebruary 
JajvjC  and  ffyftie  ffour. 

"Item,  Charter  by  the  Provost  and  Chaplains  of  Kilmune 
with  consent  of  the  Earle  of  Argyle  as  patron  In  favours  of  Archi- 
bald Campbell  of  Kilmune  Dated  the  third  and  fourtenth  days  of 
July  IajvjC  and  two  of  the  Lands  of  Kilmune  and  others  (1602). 

"Item,  Assignations  by  Mr  Alexander  Colvil  Provost  of 
Kilmune  to  [  ]  cf  any  Right  which  he  could  pretend 

to  the  Maills  and  Dueties  of  Blairmore  Dated  the  Twentie  first 
Day  of  January  IajvjC  and  ffyftie  eight  (1658) 

"  Item,  Charter  of  erectione  of  the  Burgh  of  Barrony  of  Kil- 
mune by  King  James  dated  the  Twenty  first  day  of  November 
IajivC  and  nyntie  (1490). 

"  Item,  Sasine  of  the  Lands  of  ffmbarkan  In  favours  of  Duncan 
Dow  M'Lauchlan  Dated  in  the  year  IajvC  and  nyntie  nyne  (1599). 

"  Item,  Agreement  betwixt  James  Campbell  of  Kilmune  and 
Mr  James  Smollct  dated  the  Twenty  first  day  of  December  IajvjC 
and  seventie  two  (1672). 

"  Item,  protestation  James  Campbell  of  Kilmune  against 
Eliangreg  anent  his  keeping  Courts  on  Kilmunes  Lands. 

"  Item,  Discharge  Archibald  Campbell  of  Drumsynie  to  James 
Campbell  of  Kilmune  In  part  payment  of  ane  bond  of  a  thousand 
merks  Dated  the  Twentie  third  day  of  December  IajvjC  and  sixtie 
three  (1663). 

"  Item,  Discharge  Hugh  Campbell  of  Garvchorie  To  James 
Campbel  of  Kilmune  of  ffour  Hundred  merks  Dated  the  ffourteen 
day  of  July  IajvjC  and  nyntie  six  (^1698). 

"Item,  Tack  Sir  DowTgall  Campbell  of  Auchenbreck  to  A»chi- 
bald  Campbell  of  Kilmune  of  the  Lands  of  Kilihamaig  and  Garta- 
brith  Dated  the  Twentie  eight  day  of  May  IajvjC  and  nynteen 
(1619). 

"  Item,  Instrument  Kilmune  against  the  Earle  of  Argyle's 
Chamberlane  in  the  year  IajvjC  and  nyntie  one  (1691). 

"  Item,  Generall  Discharge  Mr  James  Smollat  to  James  Camp- 
bell of  Kilmune  Dated  the  Twenty  first  Day  of  November  IajvjC 
and  seventy  seven  (1677). 


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140  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

"Item,  Severall  Discharges  of  ffe.\  Dueties  Coline  Campbell 
and  others  Chamberlanes  to  the  Earle  of  Argyle  to  Kilmune. 

"  Item,  Discharge  the  Bishop  of  Argyll  to  James  Campbell  of 
Kilmune  of  Seventeen  Bolls  one  firlot  for  the  Quarter  Teinds  of 
Kilmune  and  Twenty  eight  pounds  ffyfteen  shilling  for  Viccarage 
Dated  in  IajvjC  and  Seventie  two  (1672). 

"  Item,  Discharge  Coline  Campbell  of  Straquhur  to  James 
Campbell  of  Kilmune  of  the  flew  Dueties  he  possesses  in  Straquhur 
Dated  the  Twenty  sixth  day  of  December  IajvjC  and  seventie  six 
(1676). 

"  The  Grounds  of  Blyths wood's  Adjudicatione. 

u  Item,  Bond  by  Archibald  Campbell  of  Kilmune  to  Colin 
Campbell  merchant  burges  of  Glasgow  for  ffyve  Hundred  merks 
with  @  rent  and  penalty  Dated  the  Twelfth  Day  of  January  IajvjC 
and  ffourtie  ffour  (1644). 

"  Item,  Another  bond  by  Archibald  Campbell  of  Kilmune  as 
prinll  and  James  Campbell  of  Ardkinglas  and  Coline  Campbell  of 
Lochnell  as  Cautss  to  the  said  Coline  Campbell  therein  designed 
Colin  Campbell  of  Blythswood  in  name  and  behalfe  of  his  sons 
therein  named  for  the  soum  of  Seventeen  Hundred  merks  with  @ 
rent  and  penalty  Dated  the  Twenty  seventh  of  Aprile  TajvjC  and 
ffyftie  eight  (1658). 

"  Item,  Bond  by  the  said  Archibald  Campbell  of  Kilmune  to 
Elizabeth  ffrizel  Relict  of  umqll  Walkinshaw  of  that  ilk  and  to 
Susanna  Walkinshaw  her  daughter  for  ane  Thousand  merks  with 
@  rent  and  penalty  Dated  the  Twenty  second  day  of  December 
IajvjC  and  ffourcie  (1640). 

"  Item,  Assignation  thereof  by  the  said  Susanna  Walkinshaw 
to  Coline  Campbell  of  Blythswood  Dated  the  Twenty  sixth  day  of 
October  IajvjC  and  six  tie  ffyve  (1665). 

"  Item,  Bond  by  the  said  Archibald  Campbell  of  Kilmune  to 
Archibald  Campbell  Uncle  to  Duncan  Campbell  of  Carrick  for  the 
soum  of  a  Thousand  murks  Dated  the  Seventeen  day  of  July 
IajvjC  and  ffourtie  three  (1643). 

"  Item,  Assignation  thereof  by  the  said  Archibald  Campbell  of 
Kilmune  to  John  McEwin  merchant  in  Kilmichel  in  Glassie  Dated 
the  nynteen  day  of  Apryle  IajvjC  and  sixtie  ffour  (1664). 

"  Item,  Decreet  following  thereupon  obtained  before  the  Lords 
of  Council  and  Sessione  At  the  instance  of  the  said  John  McEwin 
against  James  Campbell  of  Kilmune  air  at  least  Lawfully  charged 
to  enter  air  to  the  said  Archibald  his  father  Dated  the  sixteen 
Day  of  November  IajvjC  and  eightie  one  (1681). 


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The  Big  house  Papers.  141 

"  Item,  Translatione  thereof  by  the  said  John  McEwin  to  the 
said  Coline  Campbel  of  Blythswood  Dated  the  ffourth  day  of 
Apryle  IajvjC  and  sixtie  fFyve  (1665). 

"  Item,  Bond  Archibald  Campbel  of  Kilmune  To  Walter 
Watsone  Nottar  in  Dumbartone  for  Three  Hundred  and  ffyftie 
merks  Dated  the  nyntb  Dav  of  January  IajvjC  and  ffyftie  seven 
(1657). 

"  Item,  Assignation  by  the  said  Walter  Watson  thereof  to 
Blvthswood  Dated  the  fourth  day  of  Aprvle  IajvjC  and  sixtie  ffyve 
(1665). 

"  Item,  Contract  of  Marriage  betwixt  Mr  Alexander  Gordon 
Minister  at  Inveraray  and  Margaret  Campbel  daughter  to  the 
deceast  Archibald  Campbel  of  Kilmunewith  consent  of  her  ffrends 
therin  named  Dated  the  tenth  Day  of  November  IajvjC  and  ffyftie 
one  whereby  Archibald  Campbel  of  Kilmune  her  Brother  and 
Jannet  Shearer  her  mother  bouud  and  obliged  them  to  pay  to  the 
said  Mr  Alexr  Gordon  the  soum  of  Two  thousand  ffyve  Hundred 
merks  in  name  of  Tocher  with  his  sd  Spouse  (1651). 

"  Item,  Assignation  therof  by  the  said  Mr  Alexander  Gordon 
to  the  sd.  Coline  Campbell  of  Blythswood  dated  the  fourth  day 
of  Apryle  IajvjC  and  sixtie  ffyve  (1635). 

"  Item,  Generall  Charge  to  enter  air  the  said  Coline  Campbel 
against  James  Campbel  of  Kilmune  to  enter  to  the  sd.  Archibald 
his  Brother. 

"  Item,  Renunciation  by  the  said  James  Campbell  to  enter  air 
.  to  his  said  Brother  Dated 

"  Item,  Decreet  of  Adjudicatione  Cognitionis  causa  at  the 
Instance  of  the  said  Coline  Campbell  of  Blythswood  against  the 
said  James  Campbell  and  the  lands  and  Estate  of  Kilmune  follow- 
ing upon  the  forsaid  bonds  Dated  the  Eight  day  of  July  IajvjC 
and  Sixtie  six  (1666). 

"  Item,  Letters  of  Horning  at  his  instance  against  the 
Superiors  for  infefting  him  in  the  Lands  contained  in  said  Decreet. 

"  Item,  Summonds  of  Maills  at  his  instance  agst  the  Tennents 
of  Kilmune. 

"  Item,  Act  following  thereupon  Blythswood  against  the  said 
Tennents. 

"  Item,  Disposition  by  Coline  Campbel  now  of  Blythswood  son 
and  air  served  and  retoured  to  the  said  Coline  Campbel  of  Blyths- 
wood of  the  forsd  Decreet  of  Adjudication  Grounds  and  warrands 
therof  Lands  and  soumes  of  money  therin  contained  In  favours  of 
Alexander  Campbel  of  Barcalden  Dated  the  seventh  day  of  October 
one  Thousand  seven  Hundred  and  two. 


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142  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness 

"  Item,  Disposition  and  Assignatione  thereof  by  tbe  sd.  Alex- 
ander Campbel  to  Patrick  Campbel  his  son  Dated  tbe  Twenty  day 
of  January  IajvjjC  and  three. 

*'  Item,  Cancelled  Backbond  be  Colin  Campbell  of  Blythswood 
To  Susanna  Walkinshaw  relative  to  the  debt  therein  mentioned 
assigned  by  her  to  him. 

"Item,  Discharge  by  John  M'Ewen  to  James  Campbell  of 
Killmun  Dated  the  Twenty  second  day  of  January  IajvjC  and 
Eightie  fry ve  (1685). 

"  Item,  Discharge  by  the  said  John  M'Ewen  to  the  sd.  James 
Campbell  of  Killmun  Dated  the  ffourteen  Day  of  ffebruary  IajvjC 
and  Eightie  ffour  (1684). 

"  Item,  Suspension  Campbel  of  Kilmun  contra  M 'Arthur  of 
{  ]  dated  in  anno  one  Thousand  six  hundred  and  eightie 

six. 

"Item,  Inhibitione  Archibald  Campbell  of  Kilmun  agst. 
Campbell  of  Arkinlas  anno  IajvjC  and  Twenty  nyne  Regrat.  at 
Edr.  anno  IajvjC  twenty  nyne  (1629). 

"  Item,  Act  of  the  Lords  of  the  Sessione  Campbell  of  Killmune 
against  Campbell  of  Ardkinglass  in  March  IajvjC  and  thirteen 
(1613). 

"  Item,  Assignatione  be  Campbell  of  Straqr.  to  John  Campbell 
his  uncle  of  the  Bishops  quarter  Teinds  of  Kilmune  Dated  the 
Eight  day  of  June  IajvjC  and  seventie  six  (1676). 

"  Item,  Recept  of  poynding  James  Campbell  of  Killmune 
against  severall  persons  for  Teinds  anno  IajvjC  and  nyntie  twro 
(1692). 

1 "  Item,  Tack  of  Teynds  by  Duncan  Campbell  Provost  of 
Killmun  with  consent  of  the  Earl  of  Argyle  In  favour  of  Archd 
Campbell  of  Kilmun  dated  the  twenty  fourth  of  July  IajvjC  and 
two  years  (1602). 

"  Item,  Obligation  Coline  Campbell  of  Strathquhar  to  Jannet 
ffrazer  Relict  of  Archibald  Campbell  of  Kilmun  ffor  giving  ane 
herell.  bond  for  six  thousand  merks  Dated  in  December  IajvjC 
and  ffourtie  nyne  (1649). 

"  Item,  Discharge  Hugh  Campbell  of  Garrowcherran  to  James 
Campbell  of  Killmune  of  Two  Hundred  merks  of  his  Tocher,  anno 
IajvjC  and  nyntie  ffyve  (1695). 

"  Item,  an  Agreement  betwixt  Archibald  Earle  of  Argyle  and 
John  Campbell  provost  of  Kilmun  his  Brother  with  Coline 
Campbell  of  Balquhidder  their  Brother  dated  the  twelvth  day  of 
May  one  thousand  ffour  Hundred  and  ffyftie  (1450). 

1  This  Item  is  added  in  the  margin  of  the  Inventory. 


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The  Big  house  Papers.  143 

"Item,  Discharge  be  J  hn  McEwen  to  Janet  Campbell  of 
Killmune  Dated  the  nynth  Day  of  May  IajvjC  and  eightie  ffyve 
<1685). 

"Item,  Contract  of  Marriage  betwixt  Coline  Campbell  of 
Strachurr  and  Anna  Campbell  daughter  to  Archibald  Campbell  of 
Killmun  whereby  he  is  bound  to  pay  ffour  thousand  pounds  of 
Tocher  to  Strachurr  Dated  the  Twentie  first  day  of  October  IajvjC 
and  tfourtie  three  (1643). 

"  Item,  Discharge  be  Campbell  of  Strachurr  to  Campbell  of 
Killmun  of  the  said  sum  of  ffour  Thousand  Pounds  of  Tocher 
dated  fifth  Febry.  IajvjC  and  fifty  four  (1654), 

"  Item,  Disposition  and  Assignatione  Robert  Campbell  of 
Silvercraige  To  Patrick  Campbell  younger  of  Barcaldine  of  ane 
apprysing  Ledd  at  the  instance  of  the  said  Robert  against  the 
Lands  and  Estate  of  Kilmune  which  Dispositione  is  dated  at  Edr. 
the  Twenty  second  day  of  Apryle  IajvjiC  and  two  (1702). 

"Item,  Disposition  be  William  Mcffarlane  of  Drumfade  To 
James  Campbell  of  Killmun  of  ane  bond  ffor  Three  Hundred  and 
ffyfty  merks  of  prinll  with  @  rent  and  penalty  granted  to  Archi- 
bald Campbell  of  Killmun  to  Walter  Watson  Nottar  in  Dumbarton 
and  to  which  bond  the  said  William  Mcffarlane  hes  right  in 
manner  mentd.  in  the  sd  Disposition  which  is  dated  the  sixth  day 
of  December  IajvjC  and  seventy  eight  (1678). 

"Item,  Bond  of  Corroboration  fer  the  prinll  scum  of  Seven 
Thousand  merks  granted  by  John  Campbell  of  Strachurr  with 
consent  of  his  Interdicter  therin  mentioned  to  Agnes  Campbell 
only  Lawful  Daughter  to  James  Campbell  of  Kilmun  and  Patrick 
Campbell  younger  of  Barcalden  her  husband  fer  his  interest  Dated 
the  ij  and  eigh tenth  of  Janry  and  third  of  May  IajvjjC  and  fyve 
(1705). 

"  Which  wrytts  and  Evidents  contained  in  the  above  wrytten 
Inventar  are  delyvered  by  the  said  Patrick  Campbell  of  Barcalden 
for  himselfe  and  in  name  and  behalfe  of  the  said  Agnes  Campbell 
his  Spouse  to  the  said  Coll  Alexander  Campbell  of  ffinab  wherof 
the  said  Collonell  grants  the  Recept  and  obleidges  him  his  airs 
and  successors  to  make  the  samen  together  with  such  Charters  as 
he  has  gote  from  the  Duke  of  Argyle  of  the  said  Lands  forth- 
coming ffer  the  better  enabling  them  to  defend  in  any  Actione  of 
Eviction  that  may  be  intented  against  him  or  his  forsaid  of  the 
said  Lands  and  Estate  now  Disponed  by  the  said  Patrick  and 
Agnes  Campbell  to  him,  or  that  may  be  Intented  against  them  as 
representing  the  said  deceast  James  Campbell  of  Killmun  or  any 
other  of  the  said  Agnes  her  predecessors  And  as  to  such  of  the 


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144  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

Grounds  or  Warrands  of  Blythswoods  Adjudication  and  Silver- 
craigs  Apprysing  as  are  wanting  and  not  contained  in  the  Estate 
Inventar  the  said  Collonell  Alexander  Campbell  takes  his  hazaid 
of  recovering  the  same  from  the  Havers  thereof  and  shall  not 
burden  the  said  Patrick  or  Agnes  Campbells  their  airs  or  suc- 
cessors with  seeking  out  or  delivery  of  the  same.  In  Witness 
whereof  Both  of  them  have  subscrybed  thir  presents  (written  be 
James  Ogston  wrytter  in  Edr.  At  Fidinburgh  the  nynth  day  of 
May  IajvjjC  and  fyve  years  before  these  witnesses  Colen  Campbell 
writer  to  the  signet  and  Colen  Kirk  writer  in  Edinburgh  inserter 
of  the  place  date  and  witnesses  names  and  designationes  and  of 
the  marginall  note). 

"  Co.  Campbell,  Witness.  "  Aler.  Campbel. 

"  Colen  Kirk,  Witness.  "  Pat.  Campbell." 

Note  by  Editor  Northern  Chronicle  : — James  Campbell,  the  last 
of  the  old  lairds  of  Kilmun,  died  about  the  beginning  of  last 
century.  His  only  daughter  was  the  wife  jf  Patrick  Campbell  of 
Barcaldine.  The  estate  was  sold  to  Colonel  Alexander  Campbell 
of  Finab,  or  Fonab,  in  Atholl,  who  repelled  Glenlyon's  invasion  of 
Argyll,  with  his  Perthshire  Jacobites,  in  1715.  Barcaldine  handed 
over  the  evidents  of  Kilmun  to  Finab,  as  per  inventory,  on  the 
9th  of  May,  1705.  From  the  many  names  of  persons  and  places, 
back  to  the  end  of  the  fifteenth  century,  it  contains,  the  inventory, 
we  think,  must  be  interesting  to  Cowal  people,  and  useful  to 
Argyll  historians.  The  parish  of  Kilmun — in  Gaelic  Cil-a-Mhuna 
— has  long  been  united  with  the  parish  of  Dunoon,  and,  so  to 
sp^ak,  lost  in  it.  It  was  ecclesiastically  of  old  the  more  important 
of  the  two.  Since  1442  the  old  Collegiate  Church  of  Kilmun, 
founded  in  that  year  for  a  provost  and  six  prebendaries  by  Sir 
Duncan  of  Lochawe,  first  Lord  Campbell  of  Argyll,  has  ever  since 
been  the  burial  place  of  the  Argyll  family. 

NO.    IV. 

"  Letter  Anthony  Murray  of  Dollerie  to  the  Laird  of  Barchalden. ' 

"  Sir, — Ye  are  at  full  freedom  to  be  sharer  in  the  stones  ye 
mention,  altho  I  hade  any  view  of  use  for  them,  which  is  not  the 
case  at  present,  and  I  may  even  as  yet  name  ane  proverb  of  Scot- 
land That  the  longest  liver  bear  the  burn  furthest,  so  that  I  plead 
with  my  willingnesse  your  taking  what  of  these  big  stones  your 
occasions  demand  from  any  ground  to  which  I  have  right.  Janet 
and  I  offer  our  good  wishes  to  Lady  Barchalden  and  your  familie, 
heartilie   wishing  you   livelie  and   prosperous   accounts   of    my 


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The  Bighouse  Papers.  145 

acquaintance  your   son  George,  amongst  other  your   American 
friends — I  am,  Your  most  obedt  humble  sent. 

"  sd.        Anthony  Murray. 

"  Dollerie  May  25th  1727. 

"  James  Conell  desires  me  to  inform  you  that  I  know  Patrick 
Mershall  is  provided  in  ane  room  by  Cultowhey.  James  hath 
hopes  ye  have  ane  vacancie  for  him  :  I  believe  them  both  to  be 
discreet  men,  and  am  vexed  enough  they  remained  so  long  unpro- 
vided in  rooms  by  their  neighbours  assuredly  breaking  their 
promise  to  me." 

no.  va. 

Letter  from  Colin  Campbell,  Glenure,  to  his  brother,  John 
Campbell  of  Barcaldine,  the  cover  addressed  to  "John 
Campbell  of  Barcaldine  Esq.  to  the  care  of  the  Postmaster 
of  Inveraray,"  and  docqueted  "Edr.  22  Feby.  1744  Letter 
Colin  Campbell  of  Glenure." 

"Edr.  22dFeb.  1744. 
*'  Dr.  Broyr — I  have  had  so  many  letters  from  you  that  I'm 
ashamed  to  own  I  have  made  so  few  answers  :  let  this  long  scrawle 
which  I  fancy  will  tire  you  be  an  Appologie  for  former  ommissions. 
"  I  ended  wt  Appine  before  he  left  this  place  which  you  need 
not  make  a  secrete  of  and  have  sent  my  Charter  of  Portcharran 
to  be  confinn'd  by  Lord  Glenorchy,  which  is  not  yet  return'd :  I 
had  many  mo.  difficulties  to  fix  matters  with  the  Laird  than  I 
imagin'd  but  now  all  is  over.  I'm  told  you  had  some  skirmishes 
wt  that  country  I  hope  you  was  not  foil'd. 

"  I'm  very  sory  for  poor  Pet.  Cam. :  it's  a  very  great  loss  to  us 
all,  Ld.  Breadalban  and  especially  Ld.  Monzie  are  in  a  great 
concern  for  him. 

"  I  remitt  you  to  the  Gazetts  for  Publick  News  all  Britain  is 
allarm'd  wt  an  Invasion  which  is  now  past  a  Joack.  Expresses 
arrive  here  every  day  from  London  wt  fresh  orders  and  its  asserted 
that  Warrands  are  given  out  to  apprehend  suspected  persons, 
particularly  young  Ld.  John  Drummond  the  Duke  of  Perth's 
Broyr. 

"  Private  news :  your  old  Mistress  Annie  Campbell,  Ld. 
Monzie's  daughter  run  off  wt  Lewt.  John  Menzics  heir  presumptive 
of  Appine  of  Dow  a  few  nights  ago,  which  has  put  that  good 
familie  in  great  affliction. 

"  The  Master  of  Glen,  is  much  better,  Jack  is  very  well,  My 
Lady  goes  this  night  to  the  playhouse  from  thence  to  a  privat 
Bawll  and  tomorrow  to  the  Assembly. 

10 


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146  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

"  This  Parragraff  for  my  sister  Mrs  Robison  and  all  her  good 
familie  are  well.  Peggy  goes  to  as  many  Diversions  as  is  necessary 
for  a  young  Ladie,  but  neglects  no  part  of  her  learning  in  which 
I'm  told  she  makes  great  progress  and  is  a  most  charming  Dancer. 
She  is  extremely  happy  in  having  Mrs  Robison  for  her  Guardian 
who  is  an  exceedingly  good  kind  woman  and  mighty  well  regairded 
here. 

"To  be  forwarded  to  Glencrerin  Ballevolan's  Daughter  is  a 
very  fine  lassie  applys  her  schools  very  closs  and  I  hope  will 
convince  John  that  his  40  stots  are  well  bestow'd. 

"  All  I  have  to  add  for  myself  is  that  I  begg  you  tell  Allan 
whom  I  hope  you  will  not  neglect  it  in  case  they  begin  to  sow  in 
Gleniure  and  Creagan  before  I  get  home  that  he  see  they  sow 
right  seed  corn  and  likewise  desire  the  Boumen1  of  Gleniure  by  no 
means  to  kill  any  calves  of  the  cows  that  were  double  Isued2  on 
the  Straith  of  Gleniure,  the  Brown  Bull  I  got  from  Airds  is  their 
Syre,  and  I  want  to  keep  them,  male  and  female. 

"  I  assure  you  for  all  the  stay  I  have  made  here  I  have  not  in 
the  least  dipt  in  love  hitherto. 

"  My  kind  complements  to  my  sister  Miss  Robison  and  the 
young  familie  and  all  oyr  friends  that  please  to  enquire  for  me. 
— I  am  Dr  Broyr  Yours  "Colin  Campbell." 

no.  v6. 
Letter  Colin  Campbell,  Glenure,  to  John  Campbell  of  Barcaldine. 

"  Edr.  15th  Novr.  1744. 

"  Dr  Broyr — Just  as  I  am  writing  this  I  receive  yours  and  will 
diliver  your  Commission  about  lease  to  Lord  B.  Lord  Glenorchy 
went  of  yesterday  for  London.  I  can  say  nothing  of  Mr  DowgalPs 
afair,  only  it  has  no  bad  aspect  yett  and  you  may  believe  I'm  not 
idle  about  it  tho'  1  cannot  promise  for  success. 

"  The  judiciall  Rentall  was  scandalous  and  to  be  sure  for  no 
good  designe  but  I  expected  no  oyr  from  that  Quarter.  Your 
letter  to  the  Shirref  was  a  very  strong  pathetick  one  and  I  wish 
you  wow'd  write  such  anoyr  as  the  scroll  you  sent  me  under  cover 
to  me  to  be  delivered  or  not  as  I  see  cause  I  have  not  yett  seen 
the  Shirref  but  propose  to  see  him  tomorrow. 

1  Boumen,  herdmen  or  cattlemen. 

3  Double  Isued  probably  mavis  having  twin  calves :  all  such  Glenure 
wished  to  be  kept,  in  spite  of  the  common  bel  that  twins  of  different  sexes 
would  not  breed. 


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The  Big  house  Papers.  147 

"  Mr  John  M'Lachlan  is  come  to  town,  but  I  hope  he'll  miss 
liis  errand. 

"  I  wish  you  wowd  send  in  the  Shirref  s  answer  to  my  sister's 
Letter  or  a  scroll,  as  likewise  a  scroll  of  the  Judicial  Rentall  taken 
loy  Airds  and  Esraggan. 

"  I  am  oblidged  to  stay  here  to  clear  my  ffayrs.  Intromission 
wt.  the  estates  of  Locheil  and  Clanronald,  which  accounts,  as 
Sandie  knows  how  my  papers  ly,  I  have  writt  him  to  send  me  pr. 
-express.  I  referr  you  to  Sandie  about  his  own  affair  of  Corregeil 
I  was  resolved  to  risque  my  Court  on  it. 

"  I  am  just  now  playing  all  my  Polliticks  to  procure  a  Com- 
iiiission  for  Allan  in  one  of  the  head  Companies  for  the  Highland 
Regt.  but  cannot  promise  for  the  success  but  will  write  you  of  it 
.soon.    I  hope  Allan  is  as  diliigent  for  me  at  Gleniure  and  Creagan. 

"  James  Campbell l  the  Lieut,  was  here  one  night,  saw  Ld.  G., 
dined  wt.  me  and  went  straight  to  winter  quarters  to  put  an  end 
-to  the  toils  of  the  Companie.  Senior  Joanino  told  me  upon  his 
parting  wt.  James  very  gravely  he  wowd  be  none  of  Cuticks 
Tutors,  that  he  had  once  acted  for  James  Campbell  and  wowd  not 
disseart  him,  which  I  as  gravely  take  to  be  a  matter  of  no  great 
moment.     I  believe  we'll  get  the  brunt  of  the  battle  ourselves. 

"  If  you  resolve  I  shou'd  do  anything  in  that  affair  while  I  am 
here  I  begg  you  send  me  in  all  the  papers  relating  to  it  by  the 

-express  Sandie  sends  me,  and  especially  the  paper  of  Judge 

you  got  by  Ld.  G.'s  letter  if  you  don't  they'l  not  overtake  me  here 
James  did  not  open  his  lips  to  me  on  the  subject  nor  I  to  him 
but  I  think  'tis  xtime  to  do  something  in  it  now  or  never,  Iff.  you 
-are  not  apply'd  to  to  submit  it  Butt  if  you  are  not  pray  send  in 
ail  the  papers  that  we  may  have  some  advice  and  light  in  the 
matter  which  James  has  and  we  want  all  this  time. 

"  I  begg  you'll  take  the  trouble  to  send  Gilpedder  wt.  a  line  to 
Duncan  Campbell  Lessmore  to  desire  himself  as  well  as  the  oyr. 
Tennants  to  have  all  their  monie  reaplie  for  me  when  I  go  home, 
jou  may  L  elieve  I'll  be  very  well  appetis'd  for  it.  I  have  no  step 
but  to  clear  the  factor  accounts.  I  likeways  begg  you  desire 
Allan  to  keep  a  watchfull  eye  over  them  in  Gleniure  and  Creagan 
.and  to  give  proper  orders  about  my  Cattle  both  there  and  in  the 
parks  of  Bars  and  be  as  diligent  for  me  as  I  for  him,  tho'  the 
success  does  not  depend  on  myself. 

1  James  Campbell,  the  lieut.,  perhaps  James  of  Glenfalloch,  who  was 
appointed  a  lieut.  in  the  Highland  Regiment  or  Black  Watch  (then  the  43rd), 
on  25th  Oct.,  1739,  and  was  killed  at  Fontenoy.  The  writer's  brother,  Allan, 
.got  a  commission  as  ensign  in  the  same  regiment,  25th  Dec.,  1744. 


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148  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

"  I  heard  some  odd  stories  here  of  my  Broyr.  Dun.1  and  Gibbie 
M'Person  about  the  litle  Girle  his  sister  pray  desire  Duncan  to 
write  me  the  whole  story  as  it  happen'd.  My  best  wishes  to  ray 
sister  and  all  your  young  familie.— I  ever  am  yours 

"Colin  Campbell. 
"  P.S. — Tell  Peggie  I  hear  she's  married  and  that  I  hope  soon 
to  see  her  at  her  own  fireside  :  what  further  occurs  I'll  write  by 
next  post.     M'Dougall  will  write  you  by  next.     He  received  your 
letter  this  day." 

Contemporary  Letters  on  the  Rebellion  of  1715. 
Prefatory  Notes  by  the  Editor  of  the  "Northern  Chronicle."" 

Lord  Glenorchy,  whose  letters  to  the  Argyllshire  factor  of  his 
father  form  a  very  interesting  portion  of  the  Bighouse  Papers,  was 
a  man  of  high  character  and  sterling  ability.  He  was  sent  as 
Envoy  Extraordinary  and  Plenipotentiary  to  Denmark  in  1718, 
when  only  twenty-two  years  old,  and  succeeded  in  renewing  former 
treaties  and  concluding  a  new  one.  He  was  atter wards  British 
Ambassador  at  St  Petersburg  for  some  years.  He  was  twice 
married,  first  in  early  youth  to  Amabel  Grey,  eldest  daughter  of 
Henry  Grey,  Duke  of  Kent.  By  her  he  had  two  children, 
Jemima,  afterwards  Marchioness  Grey,  who  inherited  her  grand- 
father the  Duke  of  Kent's  estate,  and  a  son,  who  died  in  infancy  ; 
and  secondly  to  the  younger  of  the  two  daughters  of  the  squire  of 
Sugnall,  in  Staffordshire,  who,  subsequently,  through  the  failure 
of  male  heirs,  became  co-heiress  with  her  elder  sister  of  the  Sug- 
nall property.  The  son  of  this  second  marriage,  the  Lord  Glen- 
orchy who  died  in  1771,  eleven  years  before  his  father,  was  the 
husband  of  the  pious  Lady  Glenorchy.  The  death  of  this  Glen- 
orchy without  surviving  issue  opened,  in  1782,  the  succession  to 
the  titles  and  estates  of  Breadalbane  to  the  son  of  the  Carwhin, 
who  is  chaffed  about  his  admiration  of  his  new  sword  in  one  of  our 
Lord  Glenorchy's  letters. 

Lord  Glenorchy  does  not  begin  his  correspondence  with  Bar- 
caldine  until  after  the  Prestonpans  battle  was  fought.  Apparently 
he  came  down  from  England  after  that  event,  to  act  for  his 
father,  the  second  Earl  of  Breadalbane,  who  was  broken  down  by 
years  and  infirmities.     Before  his  coming,  John  Campbell  of  Glen- 

1  Duncan,  the  brother  of  the  writer,  married  Mary  Macpheraon,  sister  of 
Sir  James  Macpheraon  ;  probably  the  reference  is  to  her.  Their  sister, 
Margaret,  married  John  Campbell  of  Danna, 


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The  Big  house  Papers.  H9 

lyon  and  John  Menzies  of  Shian  had  made  a  bold,  and  not  alto- 
gether unsuccessful  attempt  to  raise  the  Breadalbane  men  for  the 
Pretender,  in  spite  of  the  old  Earl,  who  was  a  douce  Presbyterian 
Whig.  Lord  Glenorchy  tells  how  he  refused  to  see  Glenlyon  when 
he  called  on  him  at  Tay mouth.  The  reason,  which  he  does  not 
give,  was  that  Glenlyon  and  Shian  had  sent,  in  an  incredibly 
short  time,  the  fiery  cross  round  Loch  Tay  in  defiance  of 
his  father's  prohibition ;  and  it  was  suspected  with  the 
connivance  of  old  Achalader,  the  Chamberlain  of  Breadalbane, 
who  pleaded  sickness  in  excuse  of  seeming  negligence  or 
connivance.  But,  while  the  two  audacious  Jacobites  were 
able  to  defy  the  Earl  of  Breadalbane,  they  were  thwarted, 
in  a  manner  on  which  they  had  little  calculated,  by  the 
power  of  the  Church.  Mr  Douglas,  minister  of  Kenmore  ;  Mr 
James  Stewart,  minister  of  Killin  ;  and,  still  more  fiercely,  Mr 
Fergus  Ferguson,  minister  of  Fortingall,  backed  by  their  respective 
Sessions,  worked  mightily,  in  the  midst  of  threatenings,  wrath, 
and  manifest  dangers,  to  array  their  parishioners  in  defence  of  the 
Protestant  constitutional  monat-chy  and  civil  and  religious  liberty. 
The  Church  had  in  the  southern  Highlands  become  by  this  time 
so  powerful  that  lords,  chiefs,  and  lairds  found  out  they  had  lost 
most  of  the  influence  they  possessed  and  unscrupulously  exercised 
in  1715.  But  still  the  cry  of  Oighre  dligheach  a  chruin  was  not 
without  effect ;  and  so  the  fiery  cross  was  not  sent  round  Loch 
Tay  altogether  in  vain.  Some  thirty  young  men  of  Glenlyon  also 
broke  off  from  their  people  to  fight  for  the  Prince,  five  of  whom 
were  killed  at  Culloden.  The  other  250  took  up  arms  on  the  side 
of  the  Government  when  the  new  companies  were  formed.  The 
strength  was  in  the  cause  of  hereditary  descent,  and  not  in  Glen- 
lyon and  Shian.  Both  of  them  were  "wee  lairdies"  in  embarrassed 
circumstances.  Glenlyon,  in  1745,  had  nothing  of  Glenlyon  but 
the  ancestral  title.  He  possessed  nothing  but  the  small  estate  at 
the  west  end  of  Fortingall.  Shian  had  nothing  then  but  the  four 
merkland  of  Western  Shian  in  the  Perthshire  Glenquaich.  The 
founder  of  his  family  was,  strange  to  say,  Mr  William  Menzies, 
minister  of  Kenmore,  a  stern  Covenanter  of  the  best  type,  who  at 
his  death,  about  1658,  left  to  his  son  John,  the  grandfather  of  the 
Jacobite,  the  four  merkland  of  Western  Shian,  with  half  the 
village  of  Pittintrane,  near  Crieff,  and  some  leasehold  lands  in 
Appin  of  Dull. 

Alexander  Robertson  of  Struan,  the  poet  Chief  of  Clan  Don- 
nachaidh,  John  Campbell  of  Glenlyon,  and  John  Campbell  of 
Achalader  were  middle-aged  men  when  they  fought  for  the 
Stuarts  at  Sheriffmuir  in  the  wing  of  Mar's  army,  which,  as  they 


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150  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

boasted,  was  not  defeated.  They  were  too  old  to  take  the  field  iir 
1745,  but  the  first  two  worked  hard  to  set  the  heather  on  fire, 
while  the  third  got  sick  unto  death.  John  Menzies  of 
Shian  was  in  the  '15  rising  also,  but  he  was  younger  than 
the  other  three.  Younger  than  all  of  these  was  James 
Menzies  of  Culdares,  who  was  scarcely  of  age  when  captured 
with  Mackintosh  of  Borlum's  men  at  Preston.  Struan,  Glen- 
lyon,  and  Culdares  went  to  France  after  the  rebellion  until 
they  got  pardoned  ;  and  when  he  returned  in  1718,  Culdares,  the 
wise  young  man,  brought  back  with  him  the  first  specimens  of 
larch  plants  ever  seen  in  Britain  from  the  Tyrol.  He  was,  as 
Lord  Glenorchy  says,  "  too  cunning" — too  wise  he  should  be 
called — to  join  openly  in  the  1745  rebellion,  although  he  sent  a 
gift  horse,  the  each  odhar,  to  the  Prince,  by  John  Macnaughton,  a 
Glenlyon  man,  who  was  a  watchmaker  in  Edinburgh,  and  who  was 
afterwards  executed  at  Carlisle  for  killing  Colonel  Gardiuer  when 
he  lay  wounded  on  the  field  of  Prestonpans. 

In  "  Waverley  "  Sir  Walter  Scott  made  Grandtully  Castle,  in 
Strathtay,  the  Tully-veolan  of  the  Baron  of  Bradwardine, 
and  Shian,  in  Glenquaich,  the  residence  of  the  Highland 
Chief,  Fergus  Mac  Ivor.  He  also  introduced  the  real  contem- 
porary Rannoch  robber,  Do'ull  Ban  Leathan,  into  the  story  as  a 
Jacobite  agent  at  times,  which  he  truly  was.  We  do  not  know 
that  any  John  Mor,  descendant  of  the  minister  of  Kenmore, 
indulged  in  forays,  or  had  a  "  Bodach  Glas  ; "  but  Archibald 
Menzies,  the  son  of  Shian,  met,  in  the  retreat  from  England,  with 
Fergus  Mac  Ivor's  misfortune.  He  was  captured,  but  he  could 
not  have  been  executed  at  Carlisle,  because  he  was  one  of  the 
people  specially  excepted  from  the  Act  of  Indemnity,  and  a  true 
bill  was  found  against  him  at  Edinburgh,  in  )  748.  His  father,. 
Colonel  John  Menzies  of  Shian,  never  returned  from  Cullodeu. 
It  was  said  that  he  crossed  the  Nairn  with  the  party  that  did  not 
break  up  at  once,  that  he  was  wounded,  and  that,  having  taken 
refuge  iu  some  hut,  he  refused  to  surrender,  and  that  after  he  had 
shot  some  of  his  besiegers,  the  others  fired  the  hut,  and  that  he 
thus,  like  an  old  Viking,  perished  unsubdued  in  the  flames. 

NO.  VI. 

Letter  Lord  Glenorchy,  evidently  to  John  C.  of  Barcaldine, 
but  without  address.  It  is  docqueted  "9th  October,  1745. 
Letter  Ld.  Glenorchie." 

"  Octr.  9th. 
"Sir, — I   am   very   glad   you   interposed   in   preventing  the 
curiosity  of  those  Glenorchy  people,  who  seemed  fond  of  visiting 


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The  Big  house  Papers.  151 

the  sacks  of  the  travellers,  and  that  you  extinguished  the  sparks 
which  are  beginning  to  appear.  One  Breadalbane  man  whom  you 
mention  in  your  letter  to  John  is  of  the  right  stamp.  I  wish  all 
the  country  thought  as  he  does  or  pretends. 

"  I  have  heard  nothing  of  Ld.  Seaforth  and  Sir  Alexr.,  but 
that  they  and  their  men  have  been  long  talked  of,  but  are  pro- 
bably quiet  at  home. 

"  Tis  said  the  M'Phersons,  with  Cluny  himself,  are  coming 
forward,  and  that  they  wait  only  to  be  join'd  by  Ld.  Lovat's  men. 
What  makes  this  likely  to  be  true  is  that  Lady  Cluny  pass'd  last 
Thursday  for  Edinr.  But,  on  the  other  hand>  the  delaying  so  long 
makes  it  doubtful,  and  when  Lovat  hears  of  the  troops  being 
landed,  he  may  probably  change  his  note.  Kinlochmudert's 
brother  pass'd  north  two  days  ago,  with  15  horses  loaded  with 
baggage,  got  probably  since  the  battle.1  The  M'Kinnons  were 
some  days  ago  at  Blair.  The  D.  of  At.  was  to  go  to-day  with  all 
his  men  to  Dunkeld,  and  from  thence  to  Edinr. 

"  I'm  glad  the  Person  in  whom  you  say  you  are  nearly  con- 
cerned resolves  to  be  quiet. 

4<  Inclosed  are  the  last  newspapers  I've  receiv'd.  I  believe  the 
Troops  design'd  to  come  north  may  be  at  Edinr.  before  the  end  of 
this  month.  Mareshal  Wade  is  to  command  in  this  expedition, 
and  I  believe  Sr.  Jo.  Legoniere  and  Ld.  Tyrawley  are  appointed  to 
act  as  Lieutenant-Generals. — I  am,  yours,  "  G." 

Note. — "The  Person  " — Possibly  Campbell  of  Keithock,  whose 
sister  was  John  Campbell  of  Barcaldine's  wife. 

NO.  VII. 

Letter  Alexander  Campbell  to  John  Campbell  of  Barcaldine,  Esq. 

"Octr.  11th,  1745. 
"  Dr.  Brother, — I  have  received  your's  wherein  you  desire  that 
I  tell  Carwhin  that  his  people  are  beginning  to  besturr  themselves, 
and  I  have  since  heard  that  M'Dougald2  is  likewise  turned  light 
in  the  head.  Wherefore  I  beg  that  you  deal  with  him  to  stay  at 
home  if  he  has  the  least  regard  for  his  family,  for  there  are  21,000 
regular  forces  march'd  from  London  the  21st  of  Septr.  against  the 
Highlanders,  of  which  14  regiments  from  Flanders  and  our  whole 
army  are  embark'd  from  Flanders.  So  you  may  see  what  a 
miserable  plight  these  poor  gentlemen  that  are  engaged  with  the 
Prince  are  in.     I  believe  we  shall  soon  be  oblig'd  to  march,  which 

1  Battle,  viz.,  Prestonpans,  fought  20th  September. 

2  M'Dougald  of  Dunolly. 


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152  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness 

I  hope  you'l  keep  a  secret  till  I  write  you  again.  Your  sord 
[sword]  is  out  upon  command,  and  I  shall  send  it  to  you  as  soon 
as  the  command  corns  home,  by  express.  Please  make  my  com- 
pliments to  my  sisters  and  all  the  family  at  Tnverargan,  and  I 
always  am,  your  loving  broyr., 

"Alexr.  Campbell." 
Note. — The  writer  was  a  lieutenant  in  Loudon's  Highlanders, 
his  commission  dating  from  8  June,  1745.     Ewen  Macpherson  of 
Cluny  was  appointed  a  captain  at  the  same  time. 

NO.    VIII. 

Letter  Lord  Glenorchy,  evidently  to  John  Campbell  of  Bar- 
caldine,  but  not  addressed.  Jt  is  docqueted  "  Taymouth, 
14  Octr.,  1745.     Letter  Lord  Glenorchie." 

"Taymouth,  14th  Octr.,  1745. 

"  Sir, — I  send  you  the  inclosed  papers,  the  written  one  is  sent 
me  from  London.  It  is  very  odd  to  stir  up  the  old  story  of 
Glencoe  again,  and  it  is  thought  by  some  in  Edin.  to  be  done  with 
a  particular  view. 

"Ld.  Monzie  went  suddenly  last  Friday  into  the  Castle  of 
Stirling,  I  don't  know  his  reasons.  I  have  had  odd  hints  in  letters 
from  Edinr.  I  don't  know  but  I  may  be  soon  at  Armadie.  This 
is  the  season  of  woodcocks.     If  I  come  there  I'll  let  you  know  it. 

"  1  have  heard  nothing  of  the  M'Phersons,  M'Intoshes,  or 
Frasers,  only  that  the  former  were  expected  at  Dunkeld  last 
Saturday.  If  they  were  come  I  believe  I  should  have  been 
inform'd  of  it. 

"  I'm  told  two  gentlemen  from  the  Isle  of  Skie  pass'd  lately 
thro  Athol,  who  gave  out  they  were  going  to  Edinr.  to  settle  the 
time  and  manner  of  Sir  Alexr.  and  M'Leod's  men  joining  the  army; 
but  that  it  was  thought  their  intention  was  to  see  how  matters 
stand  before  they  form  their  resolution. 

"  The  blockade  of  the  Castle1  is  taken  off  so  that  they  have 
provisions  at  liberty. 

"  Shian  finds  a  great  deal  of  difficulty  in  raising  Struan 
Robertson's  men  again.  About  130  soldiers  taken  at  the  Battle, 
who  were  committed  to  the  care  of  Shian,  and  were  listed  by  him, 
have  escaped  from  his  guard,  and  are  gone  into  Stirling  Ca^le. 

"  A  small  ship  (said  to  be  a  smuggler)  came  lately  to  Monross, 
and  landed  three  gentlemen,  one  of  whom  is  the  Master  of  Strath- 
allan,  with  arms  for  about  500  men,  and  some  money. — Yrs., 

"  G ." 

1  Blair  Castle. 


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The  Big  house  Papers.  153 

NO.    IX. 

Letter  Lord  Glenorchy,  evidently  to  John  Campbell  of  Barcal- 
dine.  Docqueted  "Achmore,  25th  October,  1745.  Letter 
Ld.  Glenorchie." 

"  Auchmore,  25th  October, 

"  Sir, — I  send  you  (as  yon  desired)  the  following  parts  of  the 
-Glencoe  affair  described  in  the  newspapers. 

"  I  can  see  no  reason  for  the  alarm  sent  me  from  Edn.  Ld. 
"M.  had  some  intelligence  of  an  attempt  to  be  made  upon  his 
person,  upon  which  he  went  to  the  Town  of  Stirling  (not  the 
Castle,  as  I  first  heard),  from  whence  he  rides  about  in  the 
neighbourhood.  His  House  has  been  since  search'd  for  arms  and 
Horses.  Of  the  former  they  found  only  one  gun,  belonging  to 
Lachlan,  which  they  took  away  ;  and  of  the  latter  they  found 
none  for  their  purpose,  the  Ly.  (Lady)  having  sent-  them  all  away 
before.  When  the  Troops  in  Perthshire  march,  I  believe  he  will 
come  home  again. 

"  All  who  pass  the  Bridge  of  Tay  say  the  Isle  of  Skie  men  and 
the  Frasers  are  coming  forward,  but  this  has  been  so  often  said 
that  I  shall  not  easily  believe  it.  Young  Cluny  brought  the 
McPhersons  into  Athole  about  8  day?  ago,  and  went  himself  back 
to  fetch  more,  which  makes  some  think  he  will  stay  at  home  to 
avoid  future  consequences;  about  200  of  his  men  have  been  in 
Glenlyon  forcing  Culdares'  men  to  rise,  who  refused  it,  unless  their 
master  went  with  him,  but  he  is  too  cunning  to  expose  himself, 
and  has  prevailed  on  Duncan  Duneaves'  brother  to  head  them, 
with  whom  they  went  yesterday  willingly.  Shian1  has  at  length, 
with  the  assistance  of  the  McPhersons,  forced  out  the  Appin  of 
Dol  men,  much  against  their  will,  and  yesterday  they  all  march'd, 

"  The  Athole  men  were  not  march'd  two  days  ago,  but  intended 
it  very  soon,  the  D.  being  at  Perth  receiving  some  cannon, 
ammunition,  and  money,  landed  somewhere  near  Peterhead  in  a 
second  ship  from  France,  and  I'm  told  a  third  ship  is  also  landed, 
but  I  did  not  hear  where. 

"Eight  regiments  last  order'd  from  Flanders  landed  on  the 
11th  inst.  at  Newcastle,  and  arrived  the  Monday  following  at 
Berwick.  The  army  coming  by  land  from  the  South  consists  of 
8000  men,  who  were,  on  the  15th,  at  Doncaster,  Yorkshire,  and 
must  be  at  or  near  Berwick  now.  There  will  be  at  least  14,000 
men,  besides  the  Dutch,  who  are  commanded  by  Counts  Nassau 
and  Schwartzenburg.     I  don't  know  their  number,  having  heard 


1  Sbiant  John  Menzies  of  Shian. 

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154  Gaelic  Society  of  /nuetness. 

only  of  3000  being  landed,  but  I  suppose  the  rest  are  also  arrived^ 
Marshall  Wade,  with  the  Generals  Weutworth  and  Halke,  and 
Brigadier  Churaley,  command  the  British. 

"  I  don't  at  present  think  of  going  further  west ;  when  I  do^ 
I'll  acquaint  you  with  it. 

"Achalader  is  in*  a  very  bad  state  of  health,  very  much  alter'd 
since  you  saw  hiui ;  he  has  not  breath  to  walk,  and  hardly  to 
speak  without  difficulty.  When  I  came  here  he  came  iX  *  chaise, 
not  being  able  to  ride. 

"  I  wonder  several  who  went  North  to  bring  up  their  men  are 
not  yet  return'd,  particularly  Ludovick  Cameron  and  Barrisdale. 
I  think  they  have  not  much  time  to  loose. — Adieu.     Yrs., 

"G . 

"Mr  Drummond  (Lord  Strathallan's  brother)  my  Banker  at 
London,  is  broke,  with  £700  of  my  money  in  his  hands,  which  was 
remitted  to  him  out  of  Staffordshire  just  two  days  before  he  broke. 
This  loss,  added  to  the  difficulty  of  getting  rents  this  year,  will  be 
very  inconvenient  to  me.  If  you  know  any  body  who  can  let  me 
have  four  or  five  hundred  «£  on  my  Bond,  I  wish  you  could  pro- 
cure it ;  the  Interest  shall  be  regularly  paid  and  the  Principal 
when  demanded." 

Note. — Auchmore,  near  Kill  in,  was  occupied  for  ninety  years 
by  the  two  Achaladers,  father  and  son,  Chamberlains  of  Breadal- 
bane.  Both  were  called  "John."  The  "Young  John"  mentioned 
by  Lord  Glenorchy  in  his  letter  of  11th  November,  was  old 
Achalader's  son  and  successor. 

no.  x. 

Letter  from  Allan  Campbell,  an  ensign  in  Lord  John  Murray's 
(afterwards  the  42nd)  or  the  Highland  Regiment,  to  John 
Campbell  of  Barcaldine.  This  letter  is  so  addressed  and 
docqueted:  "Perth,  26  Octr.,  1745.  Letter  Allan  Camp- 
bell." 

"  Dr.  Brother,  —This  is  to  aquent  you  that  I  am  in  health  and 
still  a  Prisoner  on  Parole;  we  have  the  liberty  of  the  town  of 
Perth  and  two  miles  round  it ;  we  pass  our  time  very  agreeably, 
their  bding  about  fifty  of  us  Prisoners  and  a  great  many  of  them 
very  pretty  gentlemen. 

"  I  never  was  so  idle,  having  nothing  to  do  but  sleep,  dress, 
and  walk.  I  believe  such  a  life  would  agree  very  well  with  my 
Brother  Duncan. 


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"Please  tell  Mrs  Campbell  at  Drimouick  that  her  Brother 
Archy  is  in  very  good  health,  who  is  a  very  honest,  pretty  fellow. 

"I  have  no  news  but  that  thar  was  a  great  many  smal  arms 
and  six  pieces  of  cannon  that  came  from  France  pass'd  throw  this 
town  last  day,  under  ye  care  of  the  Duke  of  Athole's  people  and  ; 
some  Irish  men  that  were  in  ye  French  service,  about  20  in 
number,  for  ye  Prince's  use.  Make  my  compliments  to  all  friends 
in  ye  Country,  and  to  my  sister  in  particular,  and  I  ever  am,  Dr. 
Br.,  your  affec.  and  lov.  Br.  "  Allan  Campbell. 

"Perth,  26th  October,  1745." 

Note. — Allan  Campbell,  with  his  Captain,  Sir  Patrick  Murray, 
and  Lieut.  James  Farquharson,  yr.  of  Invercauld,  was  at  the 
Battle  of  Prestonpans,  and  the  whole  Company  were  either  killed 
or  taken  prisoners.  See  Gen.  Stewart  of  Garth.  His  Commissions 
were — -Ensign,  25th  December,  1744 ;  Lieutenant,  1st  December, 
1746;  Captain,  13th  May,  1755;  Major,  15th  August,  1762; 
removed  to  half-pay  1763;  brought  in  on  full  pay  to  36th; 
and  died  a  Lieut. -General  in  1795. 

NO.  XI. 

Letter  from  Colin  Campbell  (evidently  Sheriff  of  Argyle), 
to  John  Campbell  of  Barcaldine.  It  is  docqueted 
"  Inverary,  10th  Nov.     Letter  Colin  Campbell." 

"  Dr.  Br. — -The  Duke  of  Argyle  has  at  last  given  his  orders  to 
raise  the  Militia.  Such  of  the  Deputy- Lieutenants  as  came  got 
their  Commissions,  and  have  by  a  sederuut  of  yesterday's  date 
appointed  intimations  to  be  sent  to  the  several  Parishes  to  have 
on  (I  one)  man  on  the  twenty  shilling  land  ready  to  come  when 
called  for. 

"  General  Campbell  is  coming  down  from  Liverpool,  with  arms 
and  provisions,  to  head  them  ;  and,  as  soon  as  he  arrives,  the 
Militia  will  be  called  here.  It's  by  the  cess  note  the  Militia  is  to 
be  levied.  Glengyle  came  down  thorow  Cowal  beginning  of  this 
week,  as  it's  thought  to  cover  the  rising  of  some  men,  which 
alarmed  this  town,  and  occasioned  the  calling  in  all  the  Militia 
hereabouts.  He  was  last  night  at  Duncan  Brecks  upon  his  return. 
I  believe  there  is  a  party  to  march  this  day  of  150  men  to  inter- 
cept him  at  the  head  of  Lochgyle,  but  I  reckon  he'll  endeavour  to 
give  them  the  slip.  The  Edin.  post  has  not  come  in  yet.  Airds 
will  give  you  all  their  news  by  the  post,  and,  if  I  have  anything 
worth,  I'll  write  you  from  Glenorchy,  where  I  go  to  day  to  con- 
cert about  the  Militia  of  that  Countrey.  I  leave  it  to  you  to  name 
the  officers  of  your  own  and  my  Lord  Breadalbaners  men  in  the 


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156  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

Parish  of  Ardchattan.  I  think  John  Auchnaba  would  do  very 
well  to  be  Captain  over  them.  In  my  opinion,  wee  should  make 
the  best  show  wee  can,  and  march  in  all  my  Lord  Breadalbanc's 
men  in  a  body,  and  order  them  all  to  meet  at  Clathaik  ;  but  of 
this  wee  have  time  enough  to  think,  and  probably  I  may  see  you 
before  they  may  be  called,  to  concert  some  generall  plan  to 
follow.  The  Highland  army  marcht  from  Edinr.,  as  it's  said,  for 
England,  and  accounts  came  in  last  night  by  express  from 
Glasgow  that  they  returned  back  again. — I  am,  Dr.  Sr.,  yours, 

"  Co.  Campbell." 
Note — General  Campbell.     General  John  Campbell  of  Mamore, 
afterwards  Duke  of  Argyle. 

NO.  XII. 

Letter  Lord  Glenorchy,  evidently  to  John  Campbell  of  Bar- 
caldine,  docqueted  "  Tay mouth,  11th  November,  1745; 
Letter  Ld.  Glenorchie." 

"Tay mouth,  11th  November,  1745. 
"  Sir, — 1  received  n  letter  yesterday  from  the  Sheriff,  dated 
the  4th,  which  had,  I  suppose  lain  so  long  by  the  neglect  of  the 
officer  thro  whose  hands  it  came.  He  informs  me  that  he  has 
received  orders  for  raising  the  Militia,  and  that  he  expected 
General  Campbell  there  soon,  wind  and  weather  serving,  which 
was  likewise  writt  to  me  from  London  a  fortnight  ago. 

"  When  the  Militia  is  rais'd,  all  in  my  estate  must  be  on  the 
same  footing  with  the  rest,  of  the  shire,  and  I  hope  my  friends 
who  are  to  command  them  will  qualifye  as  the  Law  directs, 
especially  if  the  D.  of  A.'s  friends  do  it. 

"  A  distinction  would  look  extremely  ill,  and  might  be  very 
hurtfull  +o  my  interest  at  this  time. 

"  T  have  not  heard  from  Edin.  nor  London  for  a  long  time.  An 
Express  whom  I  sent  ten  days  ago  is  not  yet  returned.  I  heard 
accidentally  from  Sterling  that  as  the  man  was  going  into  Edn  , 
he  was  heartily  beat  by  some  mob,  because  he  had  the  appearance 
of  a  Highlander,  tho'  very  little  of  the  garb.  So  much  was  the 
face  of  affairs  changed  at  Edn.  since  the  army  left  it  on  the  last 
day  of  October  and  the  first  of  this  month. 

"  Great  numbers  of  Highlanders  pass  to  the  North,  20  and  30 
in  a  body.  Above  150  have  pass'd  lately  thro  this  countrey. 
Some  of  them  give  out  that  they  are  sent  back  to  form  a  Body  of 
observation  in  the  North,  others  say  they  have  leave  to  return 
to  take  care  of  their  own  countrey,  but  'tis  most  probable  they 


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have  neither  orders  nor  leave.  They  are  all  well  arm'd,  some 
doubly. 

"  'Tis  now  pretty  certain  that  none  from  the  Isle  of  Sky  are  to- 
stir.  The  Frasers  have  been  long  talk'd  of,  and  preparations  have 
been  made  for  them  on  the  road,  but  if  they  had  set  out  when  it 
was  reported,  they  must  have  pass'd  long  ago :  about  140  of  Glen- 
garie's  men  pass'd  ten  days  ago  southward,  and  about  200 
M'Intoshes  and  M'llcvrays  from  the  Braes  of  Mar  pass'd  lately. 

"  A  deserter  yesterday  said  he  left  the  army  at  Moffat,  and 
that  they  were  marching  the  West  road  in  3  columns. 

"  Old  Glenlyon  came  here  yesterday.  I  sent  to  tell  him  to  go 
away  immediately.  He  was  in  a  chaise.  Young  John  ask'd  him 
some  questions,  but  he  could  answer  nothing ;  nor  did  he  know 
which  road  the  army  had  taken. 

"A  disturbance  at  Perth  has  maie  a  good  deal  of  noise, 
occasion'd  by  some  people  of  the  town  assembling  to  celebrate  the 
30th  of  October,  and  one  man  of  the  town  was  kill'd,  and  one 
Frenchman  who  came  over  in  one  of  the  small  ships  with  arms. 

"  The  Sheriff  writes  to  me  that  he  had  a  letter  from  Berwick 
telling  that  Mareshall  Wade  was  at  Newcastle  with  16,000  men, 
where  he  was  to  make  a  halt,  and  would  be  at  Berwick  on  the  7th, 
and  that  more  Forces  were  landed  in  the  Thames  from  Flanders, 
Horse,  Foot,  and  Dragoons.  I  suppose  Wade  will  cross  the 
Coxintrey  to  meet  the  Highlanders.  There  is  not  a  word  true  of 
any  landing  from  France  or  Spain. 

"  A  gentleman  from  Edr.  tells  me  that  Sr.  Watkin  Williams 
Wyn  has  subscribed  a  large  sum  of  money  jointly  with  other 
gentlemen,  who  are  known  friends  to  the  Government,  for  raising 
of  Troops.     Adieu.     Yrs.,  "  G . 

"  Achalader  continues  much  the  same,  too  weak  to  go  thro  his 
accounts,  or  to  mind  much  business. 

"My  letters  are  this  moment  come  from  Edr.  Tis  certain 
that  Wade  had  11,000  men  with  him  in  Yorkshire,  besides  4000 
more  in  other  parts  of  the  County,  and  that  30  ships  were  come 
into  Newcastle  with  Forces  from  Flanders. 

"  The  Edr.  Mercury  mentions  a  Proclamation  by  Wade  that, 
whereas  several  people  have  been  seduced  into  the  Kebellion, 
whoever  returns  home  before  the  11th  of  this  month  shall  not  be 
molested,  upon  which  500  had  pass'd  northward  thro  Kilsyth  one 
day,  and  300  the  next  day. 

"  I  hear  there  is  great  unanimity  and  high  spirits  in  London 
being  no  ways  apprehensive  of  an  Invasion." 


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158  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

NO.    XIII. 

Letter  from  Lord  Glenorchy,  evidently  to  John  Campbell  of 
Barcaldiue,  docqueted  "Tayrnouth  3rd  Deeemr.  1745 — 
Letter  Lord  Glenorchie." 

"Taymouth  3rd  Deer.  1745. 

"  Sir, — I  have  received  yours  of  the  27th  past  with  the  names 
of  the  officers  of  the  Militia.  I  suppose  Carwhin  was  so  taken  up 
with  trying  on  his  Broad  sword  that  he  forgot  to  send  their  names 
to  me.  1  think  they  are  very  well  chosen,  and  I  daresay  the 
young  nameless  Ensign  from  Dalfour  won't  degenerate  from  the 
behaviour  of  his  ancestors.  I'm  glad  you  are  in  a  way  of  getting 
quit  of  your  gout,  and  that  you'll  soon  appear  at  Inveraray.  I'm 
very  glad  McDougal  judges  so  right,  but  Appin's  conduct  sur- 
prises me  a  little. 

"  The  Sheriff  writes  to  me  that  he  is  inforni'd  Glenoe  is  in  a 
treaty  with  Glencoe,  and  hopes  I  will  put  a  stop  to  it.  I  desire 
you  by  all  means  to  prevent  anything  of  that  kind,  and  you  may 
tell  Glenoe  that  instead  of  expectiug  my  friendship  I  shall  be  the 
greatest  enemy  he  has  in  the  world  if  he  should  affront  me  by 
breaking  his  promise  to  me,  and  no  man  with  half  a  grain  of  sense 
will  engage  on  that  side  as  matters  now  stand  with  them. 

"I  don't  think  there  is  any  reason  for  blaming  the  Forces  in 
England  for  letting  the  Highland  Army  advance  so  far,  nor  do  I 
think  their  getting  Carlisle  of  any  conseqnence  to  them.  I  have 
been  very  often  there,  it  being  my  road  from  Sugnall,  and  I  know 
it  to  be  of  no  force,  the  Fortifications  being  ruinous,  and  only  500 
men  of  Invalids  hardly  able  to  carry  a  musket  which  is  call'd  a 
garrison.  Upon  this  occasion  indeed  part  of  the  Militia  of  the 
County  was  in  the  Town,  and  one  Durand  (who  I  suppose  is  an 
officer  sent  thither  for  the  present)  declares  that  he  would  have 
held  it  ten  days  against  the  whole  highland  army  if  the  Inhabi- 
tants had  not  obliged  him  to  capitulate  for  fear  of  being  plundered, 
but  I  don't  believe  him. 

"Lochiel  was  sent  back  with  a  detachment  to  demand  the 
baggage  which  they  had  left  at  Lockerby  and  which  was  taken 
by  the  men  of  Dumfries,  but  before  he  reached  Dumfries  he  was 
recalTd  to  the  army.  Marshal  Wade  came  from  Newcastle  (where 
lie  had  staid  so  long  in  order  to  see  which  way  the  Highlanders 
should  take)  but  was  stop'd  by  the  snow  when  he  was  about  25 
miles  from  Carlisle,  and  hearing  that  their  army  was  advancing 
towards  Lancashire  he  would  loose  no  more  time  by  waiting  for  a 
change  of  weather  but  return'd  to  Newcastle  and  took  the  Great 


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Hoad  (tho'  round  about)  which  leads  into  Lancashire  in  order  to 
follow  them.  Sir  John  Ligonier's  army  was  within  50  miles  of  the 
Highlanders  and  superiour  in  number  to  them,  for  I  don't  think 
"there  can  possibly  be  above  3000  real  Highlanders,  considering 
the  great  desertion,  and  those  at  Perth  and  that  neighbourhood, 
which  amount  to  16  or  1700  men ;  and  I'm  told  those  in  England 
were  joyn'd  in  the  South  of  Scotland  only  by  2000  men  at  most. 

"  I  saw  a  letter  from  one  in  their  army  at  Carlisle  who  owns 
that  none  have  joyn'd  them  there  but  a  very  few  of  the  lowest  of 
the  people.  If  they  should  happen  to  push  through  Ligonier's 
-army,  they  will  meet  a  third  army  composed  of  the  best  troops  in 
England,  and  I  do  assure  you  that  the  very  name  of  a  Highlander 
is  detested  by  the  people  all  over  England. 

"  I  have  a  letter  from  Col.  Campbell  inclosing  a  copy  of  one 
from  the  General  to  him,  in  which  he  desires  him  to  advise  with 
me  about  the  officers  for  8  Independent  Companies,  in  which  he 
says  the  men  must  be  listed  regularly  for  a  year  certain  or  to  the 
^nd  of  the  Rebellion.  He  does  not  say  on  what  footing  the 
officers  are  to  be  afterwards,  whether  they  are  to  keep  their  ranks 
and  to  have  half-pay,  but  to  be  sure  they  will  be  upon  the  same 
footing  as  those  Companies  rais'd  in  the  North.  I  have  recom- 
mended you  and  McDougall  for  each  a  Company  in  order  that 
my  friends  may  not  take  the  Lord's  name  in  vain.  Tell 
McDougall  of  it,  and  let  me  know  immediately  if  you  or  he  have 
any  objections  to  it,  for  I  find  the  Genl.  expects  to  have  those 
•Companies  compleated  as  soon  as  possible  without  waiting  for  him. 
•Send  me  a  List  of  some  gentlemen  proper  to  be  Lieutenants  and 
Ensigns  in  those  Companies. 

"  'Tis  said  by  all  hands  that  McLeod  has  joyn'd  Lord  Loudon 
with  430  men,  and  that  his  Lds.  has  1400  men  with  him. 

"  Ld.  John  Drummond  landed  last  week  at  Montrose  ;  as  soon 
as  the  news  of  it  was  spread  about  the  Guns  of  Down  Castle  were 
fired,  and  'twas  given  out  that  he  has  brought  8000  men  with 
him.  The  accounts  from  Perth  call  them  800,  and  other  accounts 
bring  them  down  to  400  and  100,  so  that  they  are  probably  few 
and  Irish. 

"  The  Laird  of  McLachlin,  or  as  some  say  one  Capt.  McLachlin, 
went  lately  thro  Strathern  from  Carlisle  to  Perth.  The  cause  of 
his  coming  back  is  not  yet  known,  some  imagine  'tis  to  bring  tho&e 
men  after  the  army.  •  He  was  attended  by  20  Hussars  of  the 
Carlisle  edition  that  is  Angus  men  with  Fur  Bonnets. 

"  The  Second  Barrisdale  was  (I'm  told)  some  days  ago  alone  at 
Dalnakerdoch,  I  suppose  he  went  to  Perth. — Adieu,  yrs. 

"  Glenorchy. 


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160  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

"I  hear  nothing  of  the  Frasers,  100  of  them  came  some  time 
ago  to  Perth,  about  120  M'Leods  of  Rasa  are  there,  Ld.  Cromartie 
has  200  McKenzies,  Ludovick  Cameron  is  there  with  the  Camerons 
who  came  thro  Glendochart  as  also  Stewarts  and  Gleneo's  men. 
There  are  Farquharsons  and  M'Intoshes  there  and  some  of  Glen- 
garie's  men. 

"  This  goes  by  an  express  to  Armadie  who  leaves  it  with  the 
officer  of  Glenorchy,  you  may  send  your  answer  back,  which  will 
be  taken  up  there  by  the  man  on  his  return  from  Armadie." 

Note. — The  young  nameless  Ensign  from  Dalfour,  probably 
Barcaldine's  son  Alexander,  who  joined  the  Argyleshire  Militia  as 
a  Volunteer  at  the  age  of  16  about  this  time.  Dalfour  is  near  the 
present  mansion-house  of  Barcaldine. 

NO.    XIV. 

Letter  from  Lord  Glenorchy  to  John  Campbell  of  Barcaldine, 
docqueted  "Taymouth  6  Deer.  1745 — Letter  Lord  Glen- 
orchie." 

"Taymouth,  6th  December,  1745. 

"  Sir, — I  received  this  afternoon  yours  by  the  Bearer,  and  I 
suppose  you've  seen  before  now  by  my  last  that  as  soon  as  I  got 
the  account  from  Inverary  I  thought  of  you.  I'm  glad  I  prevented 
your  writing  to  me  about  it,  and  I  suppose  there  can  be  no  diffi- 
culty in  it. 

"  I  hear  from  London  that  the  Duke  of  Cumberland  is  gone  to 
command  the  army  which  Sir  John  Ligonier  was  to  have  com- 
manded, but  he  was  taken  suddenly  ill,  however  he  is  recovered 
:.md  sut  nut  with  the  Duke.  The  army  consists  of  about  9000  men 
of  old  Regiments,  most  of  them  come  from  Flanders,  and  3000  of 
new  Regiments,  Two  Battalions  of  the  Guards  from  Flanders 
are  with  them,  and  all  our  Troops  are  now  com  3  over.  Their  only 
apprehension  at  London  is  that  the  Highlanders  will  get  into 
Wales  and  escape  them  for  some  time. 

"  A  French  atrip  is  taken  by  one  of  our  men  of  war  and  carried 
into  Deal,  near  Dover,  having  above  60  officers  aboard,  and  'tis 
thought  P.  Henry  is  with  them.  Ld.  Derwentwater  is  in  that  ship 
and  Kelly j  and  it  was  talk'd  at  London  that  Adml.  Martin  had 
destroyed  the  whole  fleet  that  was  coming  over,  but  this  perhaps 
is  not  true.  Another  of  our  ships  has  taken  a  Frenchman  and 
carried  him  into  Dover  but  it  is  not  known  how  many  men  were 
aboard,  and  a  rhird  ship  is  carried  into  Leith  with  about  130  men* 
There  were  arms  and  ammunition  in  all  of  them. 


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The  Big  house  Papers.  161 

"  It  is  reported  at  Perth  that  Adml.  Bing's  ship  was  seen  off 
Montrose  in  chace  of  three  French  ships  very  near  them. 

"Ld.  Jo.  Drummond  has  about  140  men  with  him.  There  are 
at  Perth  in  all  near  2000  men.  Several  Frasers  pass'd  lately 
towards  Perth. 

"  Loudon  is  said  certainly  to  have  with  him  400  M'Leods,  100 
Grants,  100  Guns,  100  Munroes,  100  M'Kays,  100  Sutherlands, 
Capt.  Sutherland's  Company  com  pleat,  about  40  of  Major 
M'Kenzie's  Company  and  as  many  of  Ld.  Chs.  Gordon's  Company, 
and  two  Companies  of  Guise's  Regiment. 

"  Your  Brother  Allan  is  just  come  In  here  on  leave  for  some 
time. — Adieu,  yrs.  (Sd.)  ■       "  Glenorchy. 

"I've  sent  two  English  and  two  Scots  News  papers  to 
Achalader  to  read  and  desired  him  to  send  them  forward  to  you. 
Tis  the  Laird  of  M'Lachlin  that  is  come  to  Perth  but  his  errand 
is  not  known.     Achalader  is  a  good  deal  better. 

"  The  Highlanders  were  counted  at  two  Bridges  in  England, 
and  were  a  little  above  6000  men.  They  have  been  joyn'd  by  none 
since  they  enter'd  England." 

Notes. — Prince  Henry.  Not  long  after  the  arrival  of  Lord 
John  Drummond  at  Montrose  with  his  own  regiment  and  other 
troops  from  France,  it  was  intended  to  send  another  expedition, 
which  was  to  land  on  the  English  coast,  and  that  Henry,  Duke  of 
York,  should  accompany  it ;  but  apparently  before  the  necessary 
arrangements  were  completed,  Prince.  Charlie  commenced  his 
retreat  from  Derby,  and  the  plan  was  not  executed. 

Lord  Charles  Gordon,  2nd  son  of  the  Duke  of  Gordon, 
commanded  a  Company  in  Lord  Loudon's  regiment. 

NO.  xv. 

Letter  from  Lieut.  Alexander  Campbell1  to  his  brother,  John 
Campbell  of  Barcaldine,  docqueted  "Corregyle2  6  Deer. 
1745.  Letter  Alexr.  Campbell,"  and  addressed  "to  John 
Campbell  of  Barcaldine  Esq." 

"  Corregile  Deer.  6th  1745. 
"  Dr.  Broyr.,^This  morning  I  was  ashured  that  Barisdle  with 
700  men  are  to  be  in  the  Breas  of  this  country  this  night  with 
what  Intent  I  cannot  tell,  but  it  is  belived  with  an  intent  to  pay 

1  Alexr.  Campbell  and  Colin  Campbell,  Glenure,  brothers  of  John  of  Bar- 
caldine, and  their  cousin,  Patrick,  son  of  Achalader,  were  all  Lieuts.  in  Loudon'* 
Highlanders. 

2  Corryghoil  is  in  Glenorchy,  about  4  miles  east  of  Dalmally. 

11 


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x    162  Gaelic  Society  of  Jnuerness. 

a  visit  to  Inverary :  we  are  likewise  told  that  there  are  two 
thousand  to  com  from  Perth  to  join  him  and  to  come  in  a  body 
into  this  Shire  Please  receive  by  the  Bearer  a  trunk  with  all  the 
Papers  I  have  within  it,  which  I  hope  you'l  take  the  same  care  of 
as  you'l  do  of  your  own  Papers  if  the  Rebels  begin  to  Plunder  the 
Shire  (which  you'l  soon  be  informed  of)  I  think  you  should  put 
your  Castle1  in  a  pouster  of  Defence  without  loss  of  time  and  put 
in  all  your  own  and  friends  most  valuable  things.  I  talk  as  if 
•you  was  in  perfect  health  tho'  I  know  the  contrary  but  I  hope 
you'l  not  neglect  to  cause  Do  it,  and  the  sooner  the  Better. 
Please  make  my  complements  to  my  sister  and  family  and  I  ever 
am  yours  till  death.  "  Albxr.  Campbell." 

no.   XVI. 

Letter  from  Lord  Glenorchy  to  John  Campbell  of  Barcaldiue, 
docqueted  "  Taymouth  15th  December  1745 — Letter  Ld. 
Glenorchie." 

"Taymouth  15th  Deer.  1745. 

"Sir, — If  I  wrote  to  you  that  Genl.  Campbell  expected  the 
Companies  should  be  compleated  before  his  arrival  I  certainly 
exceeded  my  own  Intention,  for  I  only  meant  that  I  wrote 
pressingly  about  them  and  hoped  they  would  be  pretty  far 
advanced  by  the  time  he  came.  Your  objections  to  so  much  haste 
are  very  obvious,  and  what  I  can  give  no  answer  to,  for  (as  I 
believe  I  mentioned  before)  I  know  nothing  about  the  establish- 
ment of  them,  no  more  does  Colonel  Campbell  till  his  father's 
arrival  who  brings  blank  Commissions  with  him,  and  will  certainly 
be  desirous  of  raising  the  Companies  as  fast  as  possible. 

"  I  will  have  regard  to  the  persons  included  in  your  list  as  far 
I  can,  but  I  am  not  sure  if  they  will  not  exceed  my  property  if 
there  are  but  three  officers  to  a  Company,  for  I  have  already 
recommended  Archibald  Glenfalloch's  Uncle,  Jo.  Campbell  Ach- 
naba's  nephew  now  carrying  arms  in  Sr.  Pat.  Murray's  Company 
and  gleid  Duncan  to  be  Lieutenants,  I  will  certainly  insist  on 
young  Achnaba,2  and  procure  him  to  be  your  Lieut.,  if  no  objec- 
tion starts  up  to  it  (I  mean  as  to  being  in  that  Company)  which  I 
don't  at  all  foresee.  You  say  it  will  be  difficult  and  take  high 
bribing  to  get  men  to  list  for  a  year  or  to  the  end  of  the  Rebellion. 

1  Barcaldine  Castle,  at  the  entrance  of  Loch  Creran. 

3  John  Campbell,  younger  of  Achnaba,  got  a  Commission,  and  received  a 
wound  at  Culloden,  of  which  he  died  two  days  afterwards,  and  was  buried  in 
Inverness-shire. 


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The  Bighouse  Papers.  163 

I  can't  see  wherein  this  difficulty  lies,  for  I  think  it  would  be 
easier  to  get  men  to  enlist  for  a  certain  time  for  nothing,  than  to 
engage  for  life  in  the  common  way  for  a  considerable  sum  of 
money. 

"  McDougall  desires  to  know  how  many  men  each  Company  is 
to  consist  of,  what  Levy  money  is  to  be  allowed,  what  time  will 
be  given  for  raising  the  Companies,  and  if  the  Officers  are  to  have 
half-pay  when  disbanded.  He  says  'tis  necessary  for  him  to  know 
these  things,  otherwise  he  may  plunge  himself  into  an  affair  that 
may  quite  disconcert  his  present  way  of  living  if  the  Commissions 
should  be  of  short  duration.  These  are  questions  certainly  very 
proper  for  him  to  ask,  but  impossible  for  me  to  answer  at  present, 
as  I  have  writt  to  him.  He  likewise  desires  if  he  has  a  Company, 
that  he  and  his  friends  may  be  freed  from  the  Militia,  which  is 
not  in  my  power  to  grant,  and  wishes  to  know  his  subalterns,  of 
which  I  cannot  inform  him,  and  desires  to  have  Creganich  for  his 
Lieut,  if  I  am  not  pre-engaged.  My  inclosed  answer  contains  that 
as  I  am  desirous  of  serving  him  and  his  family,  I  thought  this 
might  be  an  opportunity  of  doing  it,  but  that  I  can't  answer  any 
one  of  his  questions  because  I  don't  know  what  footing  these 
Companies  are  to  be  on.  That  if  he  apprehends  such  a  Commis- 
sion will  not  answer  the  end  I  propose,  which  is  serving  his  family, 
he  is  not  in  the  least  bound  by  what  I  have  done,  and  as  the  Com- 
panies will  certainly  not  be  of  long  duration  very  possibly  it  may 
not  suit  his  affairs,  in  which  case  I  shall  be  very  willing  to  procure 
him  any  Benefit  1  can  some  other  way.  This  is  the  contents  of 
my  letter  to  him,  but  I'll  tell  you  that  I  have  been  very  lately 
inform'd  that  some  difficulties  may  be  thrown  in  his  way  at 
Inveraray,  I  suppose  for  private  reasons.  The  Lieuft.  Col.  in 
auswer  to  my  letter  naming  you  and  McDougall  for  Captains, 
Duncan,  Archibald  and  John  for  Lieuts.,  only  says  that  he  will 
communicate  my  letter  to  his  father  on  his  arrival,  and  that  my 
recommendation  will  have  weight  with  him. 

"  If  you  apprehend  M'Dougall  may  be  objected  to,  I  should 
really  think  it  better  to  drop  it  than  to  start  a  difficulty  of  this 
kind,  since  he  does  not  appear  extremely  keen  in  it  himself,  and 
very  possibly  it  may  not  suit  with  his  other  affairs.  I  suppose 
his  desire  of  being  freed  from  the  Militia  is  in  order  to  put  those 
same  men  in  his  Company,  but  I  doubt  if  he  can  be  exempted 
from  the  Service  of  the  Militia.  1  would  not  mention  anything  to 
him  of  this  difficulty,  which  I  did  not  in  the  least  imagine  at  first, 
and  possibly  may  yet  be  nothing,  but  if  there  is  any  probability 
of  it  I  really  think  you  would  do  right  to  put  him  off  it. 


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164  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

"  Five  hundred  Frasers  are  gone  lately  to  Perth  as  I'm 
informed,  and  I  hear  they  make  the  number  about  2000,  and  that 
there  are  about  1500  Irish  landed  in  different  parts.  Old  Looheil 
came  over  with  Ld.  Jo  Drummond. 

"  I'm  told  they  are  cutting  a  deep  broad  ditch  round  the  town 
of  Perth  and  intend  to  put  cannon  on  it  when  they  can  get  them 
over  the  River,  but  the  boats  are  too  small  for  them.  All  the 
Country  about  will  be  ruin'd,  they  plunder  terribly,  and  have 
kiird  some  farmers  who  would  have  defended  their  Houses. 

"  I  expect  a  man  from  Edinr.  daily.  Ill  send  you  the  News- 
papers. By  the  last  accounts  the  highland  army  was  at  Man- 
chester at  the  south  end  of  Lancashire,  a  most  populous  City 
where  are  great  manufactures,  and  yet  they  could  get  but  100 
men  to  whom  they  were  forced  to  pay  6  guins.  each.  And  tho' 
Lancashire  is  always  reckoned  the  most  Jacobite  County  in 
England  they  have  not  been  joyn'd  by  one  man.  The  Duke  of 
Cumberland's  army  consisting  of  9000  men  from  Flanders  and 
3000  new  raised,  were  about  30  miles  from  them,  but  the  High- 
landers by  going  to  Manchester  turn  d  out  of  the  direct  ftoad  to 
them  as  if  they  would  avoid  them.  Marshal  Wade  was  marching 
back  southward  slowly.  I  believe  a  part  of  his  army  will  be  sent 
to  Scotland. — Adieu,  yrs.  "  G •— ." 

Note. — The  General  Campbell  referred  to  is  the  Hon.  John 
Campbell  of  Mamore,  afterwards  4th  Duke  of  Argyll ;  his  son 
Col.  C.  was  afterwards  5th  Duke.  The  General  arrived  at  Inver- 
aray on  21st  December  to  command  the  troops  and  garrisons  in 
the  west  of  Scotland. 

M'Dougail. — Alex.  M'D.  of  Dun  oily  who  was  married  to  Mary, 
sister  to  John  C.  of  Barcaldine,  and  was  restored  to  his  father's 
estate,  which  had  been  forfeited  after  1715,  by  charter  from  the 
Duke  of  Argyle  in  1745. 

NO.    XVII. 

Letter  from  Lord  Glenorchy  to  John  Campbell  of  Barcaldine 
docqueted  "  Taymouth  18th  Deer.  1745 — Letter  Ld. 
Glenorchie." 

"Taymouth  18th  Deer.  1745. 
"  Sir, — I  wrote  to  you  in  my  letter  that  I  had  a  hint  given  me 
of  some  objections  that  would  be  made  to  a  friend  of  yours.  I 
have  heard  nothing  further  about  it  nor  can  I  till  the  General's 
arrival.  But  if  there  is  any  grounds  to  expect  objecting,  it  would 
be  mnch  better  for  him  to  decline  it  of  himself. 


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The  Big  house  Papers.  165 

"  I've  sent  two  news  papers  to  Achalader  who  is  to  send  them 
forward  when  he  has  read  them.  'Che  Highland  army  is  trying  to 
avoid  the  Duke  of  Cumberland,  which  looks  ill  for  them.  They 
were  pass'd  all  Lancashire^  which  is  the  most  Jacobite  shire  in 
England,  and  were  join'd  by  none  but  a  very  few  Rabble.  They 
attempted  to  go  to  Wales  but  a  part  of  the  Duke's  army  got 
before  them,  and  he  himself  began  his  march  towards  them  with 
the  rest  of  his  army  at  eleven  o'clock  at  night.  They  afterwards 
turn'd  short  to  the  East  which  obliged  him  to  march  back,  and 
they  were  about  17  or  20  miles  asunder,  each  within  70  miles  of 
London.  I  think  their  game  was  to  attack  him  directly,  but 
probably  they  think  him  too  strong.  If  they  should  march  faster 
than  he  and  go  to  London,  they  will  find  an  army  there  to  enter- 
tain them  till  the  Duke  comes  up  which  must  be  in  some  hours 
after  them. 

"  There  were  22  officers  taken  in  the  French  ship  which  the 
Sheerness  man  of  war  took,  and  with  them  is  Ld.  Derwentwater 
whose  Brother  was  beheaded  in  the  1715.  Sixteen  officers  were 
taken  in  the  ship  brought  into  Leith  besides  several  Serjeants  ana 
private  men  in  both  :  all  of  them  Scots  and  Irish. 

"  Im  told  400  Frasers  are  come  to  Perth,  and  that  they  are 
casting  a  ditch  round  Oliver's  Citadel  on  the  South  Inch,  where 
they  intend  to  put  Cannon. 

"  I've  heard  from  Fort  William  that  Lord  Loudoun  came  from 
Inverness  to  Fort  Augustus  with  600  men,  and  staid  there  some 
days,  and  that  he  has  1300  men  at  Inverness. 

"  A  man  who  left  Perth  last  night  tells  me  that  1000  men 
with  8  Field  Pieces  march'd  yesterday  from  thence  towards  Crief. 
They  gave  out  they  were  going  to  Sterling,  but  the  smallness  of 
the  Cannon  is  a  proof  they  don't  intend  anything  there. — I  amyrs. 

"G ." 

NO.    XVIII. 

Letter  from  Lord  Glenorchy  to  John  Campbell  of  Barcaldine, 
docqueted  "  Taymouth,  19th  Deer.  1745 — Letter  Lord 
Glenorchy." 

"Taymouth  19th  Deer.  1745. 
"  Sir, — I  wrote  to  you  last  night  and  sent  you  two  newspapers 
and  acquainted  you  with  what  I  heard  of  affairs.  But  I  have  just 
now  received  accounts  of  much  greater  importance.  An  express 
came  yesterday  to  Genl.  Blakeney  at  Sterling  from  Genl.  Guest 
informing  him  that  the  Highland  army  after  retreating  very  fast 
was  overtaken  by  the  Duke  of  Cumberland  near  Lancaster  on  the 


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166  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness 

13th  or  14th,  where  after  a  smart  action  they  were  rorced  to  fly 
into  the  town  of  Lancaster,  and  were  immediately  surrounded  by 
the  Duke's  army  ;  and  that  the  P.  and  the  D  of  Perth  had  escaped 
with  100  Light  Horse,  and  all  the  country  was  up  in  pursuit  of 
them. 

"  The  Town  of  Lancaster  is  open  on  all  sides,  So  that  I  don't 
see  how  any  can  escape,  unless  some  could  have  time  to  pass  the 
Bridge  on  the  North  side  of  it,  and  to  break  it  down,  but  I  don't 
imagine  the  Duke  will  give  them  an  opportunity  of  that. 

"  Lancashire  is  fatal  to  the  Highlanders.  I  have  just  now 
heard  that  part  of  that  body  which  went  from  Perth  on  Tuesday 
came  that  night  to  Crief  and  march 'd  yesterday  towards  Down. 
The  rest  came  last  night  to  Crief  and  tollow'd  them  this  day. — I 
am,  yrs.,  "  G . 

"  Upon  recollection  I  think  it  very  possible  that  my  author 
from  Sterling  (who  saw  Blakeney's  letter)  may  have  mistaken 
the  name,  and  that  'tis  Manchester  not  Lancaster.  This  would 
make  no  difference,  only  that  the  further  south  the  harder  for  any 
to  escape." 

Note. — Lord  Glenorchy's  iuformant  was  right:  the  Highlanders 
were  at  Lancaster  on  the  13th  and  14th,  and  marched  for  Kendal 
on  the  15th  :  as  they  left  the  town  some  of  the  English  horse 
entered  it,  and  followed  the  Highland  army  for  two  or  three  miles, 
but  no  engagement  took  place. 

NO.    XIX. 

Letter  from  Lord  Glenorchy  to  John  Campbell  of  Barcaldine, 
docqueted  "Taymouth,  26th  Deer.  1745. — Letter  Lord 
Glenorchy." 

"Taymouth,  26th  Deer.  1745. 
"  Sir, — I  received  this  day  yours  of  the  22nd,  to  which  I  have 
nothing  to  answer.  I  suppose  Genl.  Campbell  did  not  arrive  at 
In  vera  my  so  soon  as  was  expected  after  his  landing  at  Camp- 
bell town,  otherwise  I  should  have  heard  it  by  a  man  whom  I  sent 
there  last  week,  and  is  (I  suppose)  detain'd  by  the  Sheriff  till  his 
arrival 

"  I  intend  to  be  at  Inveraray  next  Wednesday,  and  wish  you 
could  meet  me  there  or  soon  after.  I  have  sent  three  newspapers 
to  AehuLuler,  wrho  is  to  forward  them  to  you.  There  does  not 
seem  to  have  been  any  battle  at  Lancaster.  The  Highlanders, 
indeed,  ran  away  and  very  fast  before  the  Duke's  army,  and  I'm 
told  in  a  letter  :hat  the  men  ran  and  the  Baggage  horses  gallop'd. 


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The  Bighouse  Papers.  167 

By  their  extortions,  contributions,  and  other  severities  (besides 
gathering  Taxes),  it  seems  as  if  they  never  intended  to  return  into 
those  counties,  where  the  name  of  a  Highlander  is  now  become 
odious.  I  believe  they  were  incensed  at  not  being  join'd  by  any 
but  a  few  common  fellows  to  whom  they  gave  great  Levy  money, 
tho'  the  counties  of  Lancaster  and  Stafford  are  reckon'd  the  two 
most  Jacobite  Counties  in  England.  In  Staffordshire  the  people 
would  take  no  payment  for  their  Horses  and  Carriages  with  the 
Duke's  army,  and  they  lodged  all  his  men  gratis.  The  Duke  of 
Devonshire  has  raised  600  men,  and  pays  them  all  himself,  he 
won't  take  any  money  for  it  from  the  Government.  His  family 
has  always  been  distinguished  Whigs,  but  'tis  a  great  deal  for  any 
subject  to  do. 

"  I  doubt  if  the  Duke's  Horse  can  come  from  Carlisle  for  want 
of  forage.  If  it  is  possible  lie  will  continue  to  follow  them,  for  he 
has  shown  so  much  activity  aod  judgment  in  always  crossing 
between  the  Highlanders  and  London,  and  in  pursuing  so  fast 
without  overfatiguing  his  Troops,  that  he  is  so  beloved  by  them 
they  will  go  through  any  dangers  with  him  cheerfully. 

"  [  hear  the  Highlanders  march'd  30  miles  some  days,  and 
once  35  miles.  I  should  think  many  of  them  would  desert  as 
soon  as  they  can.  I  suppose  part  of  Wade's  army  will  be  im- 
mediately in  Scotland. 

'"  At  Kdinr.  all  is  confusion.  The  Banks  are  carried  up  to  the 
Castle,  and  people  are  leaving  the  Town  again. 

"  The  House  of  Commons  have  address'd  the  King,  desiring 
him  to  order  the  Provost  of  Edinr.  to  be  continued  in  custody. — 
Adieu,  yrs.,  "  G." 

NO.    XX. 

Letter  from  Lieut.  Alexr.  Campbell  to  John  Campbell  of  Bar- 
caldine,  his  brother,  docqueted  "Aberdeen  18  April  1746, 
Letter  Alexr.  Campbell "  ;  and  addressed  "  John  Campbell, 
Esq.  of  Barcaldine  at  Dal  four." 

"Aberdeen,  Aprile  18th  1746. 
"  Dear  Brother,  —I  received  yours  this  Day  afternoon  and  I 
understand  by  it  that  you  did  not  receive  the  Letter  that 
Auchuaba  wrote  giving  a  distinct  account  of  my  misfortune.  The 
bearer  of  it  was  John  McCintyre  once  gardener  at  Clifton.  He 
sett  oiit  from  this  upon  the  tenth  current. 

"  But  as  I  understand  that  that  account  is  not  come  to  your 
hand  I  shall  give  you  a  distinct  narration  of  my  misfortunes,  which 
is  as  follows,  Upon  the  ninet  enth  of  the  last  month  I  was  ordered 


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168  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

by  Coll.  Campbell  out  with  a  party  of  Sixty  foot  and  thirty  Light 
Horse  from  Strathbogie  to  Keith,  which  is  six  miles  distance,  in 
order  to  intercept  some  of  the  Rebell  Hussars :  my  subalterns 
were  Ardslignish  and  Petty  Ardchattan,  Robie  Balivolan  was 
volunteer  along  with  me  and  severall  other  young  gentlemen,  we 
stayed  at  Keith  all  that  Day  and  I  myself  with  twenty  of  the 
Light  Horse  rode  out  from  Keith  untill  we  came  within  half  a 
mile  of  Foccabirse  and  Reconitred  the  enemy's  camp  on  Speyside 
and  all  the  Intelligence  I  could  get  the  Enemy  had  crossed  Spey 
that  evening  to  their  camp,  whereupon  1  cam  back  to  Keith  and 
ordered  the  half  of  my  party  both  horse  and  foot  to  mount  guard 
and  made  Ardslignish  Captain  of  the  Guard  and  ordered  the  other 
half  of  the  foot  to  ly  in  their  Cloaths  and  arms  in  the  Church 
beside  him :  and  he  and  I  both  planted  the  Centuries  in  the  most 
convenient  parts  from  the  town  to  the  number  of  nine  or  ten,  this 
far  I  have  given  you  a  History  of  my  Management  in  vindication 
of  my  conduct,  I  sate  up  till  near  one  in  the  morning  at  which 
time  I  thre\\  myself  upon  a  bed  in  ray  cloaths  and  arms  and  just 
as  I  was  falling  asleep  I  heard  firing  begun  at  our  Guard  House 
door  which  was  within  the  Churchyeard.  1  ran  out  of  the  house 
and  gott  down  to  the  Church  stile,  when  I  observed  the  whole 
Churchyeard  filled  with  the  Enemy,  but  luckily  their  backs  was 
upon  me.  I  drew  my  ^word  and  rushed  thro'  them  untill  I  gott 
to  the  Guard  house.  They  fired  severall  shots  at  me  as  I  passed 
but  missed  me.  When  I  came  to  the  Guard  house  I  found  every- 
thing in  disorder,  four  of  the  men  killed,  the  Captain  wounded  and 
what  remained  of  the  men  in  the  house  quite  inactive  in  their 
duty.  I  told  Ardslignish  that  the  only  chance  left  us  now  for  our 
Lives  and  Reputation  was  to  make  a  brisk  attempt  to  gett  thro' 
the  enemy  back  again  which  He  agreed  to,  we  both  Rushed  out  of 
the  house  but  could  not  make  our  post  good.  He  was  immediately 
taken  Prisoner  upon  his  getting  out  of  the  Door,  I  stood  longer  to 
my  defence  tho'  I  was  frequently  offered  Quarters  and  my  Reason 
for  not  taking  quarters  v  as  that  I  was  almost  sure  that  I  would 
be  cutt  to  pieces  after  being  taken  Prisoner  which  was  at  last  my 
fate,  for  a  fellow  came  behind  me  with  a  clubbed  firelock  and 
knocked  me  down,  and  then  they  slashed  at  me  till  they  left  me 
in  the  miserable  pickle  I  am  now  in ;  for  I  gott  no  cutt  while  I 
was  standing  except  one  across  the  Face  and  Nose.  After  I  was 
flatt  upon  the  ground  I  gott  a  wound  in  the  head,  one  in  the  right 
shoulder,  and  a  very  bad  one  in  the  left  wrest  which  is  the  one 
now  confines  me  to  my  bed,  all  the  rest  of  my  wounds  are  in  a 
very  good  way  and  almost  whole.     The  cloaths  I  had  on  will  yet 


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The  Big  house  Papers.  169 

show  how  many  wounds  were  designed  for  tne,  tho'  the  number  of 
hands  that  were  striking  at  me  at  the  same  time  hindred  their 
blows  from  being  so  deadly  as  they  would  have  been  was  there  but 
one  striking  at  me  and  in  the  above  situation  did  they  leave  me 
for  dead  on  the  ground  but  Returning  in  a  little  they  found  that 
I  was  not  quite  dead,  whereupon  they  sett  me  upon  horseback  in 
order  to  carry  me  away  to  their  camp  but  after  they  had  carried 
me  about  a  mile  off  they  again  threw  me  off  on  the  ground  for 
dead  and  there  left  me. 

"  After  they  were  away  about  twenty  minutes  1  gott  up  and 
wandred  for  about  a  mile  till  I  perchance  lighted  upon  a  farm 
house  which  I  went  into  but  the  people  of  the  house  observing  how 
I  was,  ran  out  of  the  house  and  left  it  to  myself,  whereupon  I  left 
the  house  and  went  into  another  house  in  the  same  Village,  the 
People  of  the  house  left  me  the  same  way  as  the  former,  but  there 
was  a  good  fire  in  the  house,  and  I  laid  myself  down  at  full  length 
by  the  side  of  it  which  comforted  me  much,  as  I  was  quite  chilled 
with  icold  and  faint  with  loss  of  blood.  The  Landlord  was  not  in 
the  house  when  I  came  to  it,  came  in  then  and  seid  the  miserable 
situation  I  was  in  wallowing  in  my  blood  by  the  fireside,  He  gott 
water  and  washed  my  wounds  and  Immediately  called  a  Surgeon 
who  dressed  my  wounds,  all  the  above  happened  before  daylight, 
the  enemy's  numbers  that  attacked  us  by  the  best  Information  I 
could  gett  afterwards  were  about  six  or  seven  hundred,  so  far  you 
have  a  distinct  history  of  my  misfortunes.  Our  own  people  came 
by  ten  a  cloak  that  same  day  with  a  Surgeon  and  gott  me  aright 
dressed,  In  spite  of  all  the  care  could  be  taken  of  me  1  was  obliged 
to  stay  for  eight  days  in  the  Farmer's  house  before  I  wTas  fit  for 
being  carried  upon  a  Litter  for  Strathbogie,  when  the  Army 
marched  from  Strathbogie  I  was  sent  here  upon  a  horse  Litter 
where  I  now  ly.  God  knows  if  ever  I  rise  for  I  am  in  a  weak 
situation. 

"I  wish  from  my  heart  that  it  was  possible  that  Sandy 
Campbell,  Auchnaba's  Brother,  could  come  here,  was  he  but  to 
stay  for  two  nights,  there  are  three  Rideing  horses  of  my  own, 
and  a  servant  lying  idle  in  Glenorchy  and  horse  ffurniture  conform 
which  he  might  take  the  use  of  for  the  greater  expedition,  this  is 
ail  I  have  to  desire  of  you  at  the  present  which  if  you  can  agree 
to  will  give  me  vast  ease  of  Body  and  mind.  Please  make  my 
complements  to  my  Sister  and  the  rest  of  your  ffamily  when  you 
write  them  and  I  ever  remain  Your  Lov.  Brother 

"Alex.  Campbell." 

Note. — The  writer  was  a  Lieutenant  in  Loudon's  High- 
landers.    See  note  at  end  of  next  letter. 


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170  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

NO.    XXI. 

Letter  from  Colin  Campbell,  Glemire,  to  his  brother,  John 
Campbell  of  Barcaldine,  docqueted  "Aberdeen  21st  April 
1746— Letter  Colin  Campbell." 

u  Aberdeen  21st  Apryle  1746. 

"  Dr.  Broyr., — I  found  your  servant  here  whom  I  keept  till 
this  moment  to  try  and  send  you  the  best  accounts  I  could  gett 
of  the  Victory  gained  by  His  R.H.  over  the  Rebells. 

"  I  have  sent  you  a  printed  account  which  was  the  first :  But 
every  account  that  comes  here  makes  the  number  of  the  killed 
and  Prisoners  more  than  the  first.  J  have  sent  you  enclosed  a 
list  as  was  given  up  by  an  Express  how  [who]  came  here  from  our 
army  this  day,  whom  I  saw  examined  here  in  the  town  house. 
The  Argyleshire  men  by  all  accounts  behaved  gallantly  and  did 
great  execution  in  the  chase.  I'm  told  they  had  two  officers  and 
20  men  killed  but  can't  tell  the  officers  nfimes  :  Coll.  Campbell  i& 
safe.     It  gives  me  great  pleasure  our  friends  behaved  so  well. 

"  We  have  not  yet  gott  so  distinct  accounts  of  particulars,  but 
[it]  is  most  certain  it  was  a  compleat  victory  and  what  I'm  per- 
suaded will  put  an  end  to  the  Rebellion.  Numbers  of  prisoners 
are  brought  every  moment.  It's  affirm 'd  the  Pretender  is 
wounded  in  his  knee  and  thigh  and  gott  off  in  a  Chaise  towards 
Fort  Augustus. 

"  I  will  now  give  you  an  account  of  poor  Sandie.  I  found  him 
just  alive,  and  most  miserably  mangled,  his  spirits  are  better 
since  I  came  hear.  I  think  he'll  live,  but  can  never  be  a  firm 
man :  his  face  is  much  disfigured  by  the  want  of  his  teeth,  but 
his  worst  cut  is  in  his  Hand,  which  I'm  much  afraid  will  be  of 
little  use  to  him.  It's  lucky  'tis  his  left  hand.  Lord  Crawford 
was  so  good  as  allow  me  to  come  here  for  a  few  days,  I  must 
return  to  Perth  in  2  or  3  days  and  design  to  &end  Robie  here  from 
Stirling  to  stay  closly  with  Sandie  till  he  carries  him  home.  I 
begg  upon  recept  of  this  you  send  express  to  Robie  to  tell  him 
that  he  meatt  me  at  Perth  and  let  him  know  that  he  must  come 
and  wait  of  our  Broyr  here  :  Butt  att  any  rate  he  wait  at  Perth 
till  I  come  there.  I  hope  you'll  not  neglect  this  and  I  think  you 
should  write  Bailie  Dauskin  the  necessity  there  is  for  his  parting 
with  Robie  for  a  month. 

"  Ld.  Crawford  told  me  the  moment  I  returned  from  this  I 
must  go  to  Argyleshire  so  that  you  may  expect  to  see  me  over 
this  or  next  week. — I  am  Dr.  Broyr.  yours  &c. 

"Colin  Campbell. 

u  I  send  you  Sandie's  letter,  which  was  writt  before  I  came." 


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Sheann  Bhardachd  Eilean-a'  Cheo.  171 

Note. — Colin  Campbell  of  Glenure  was  at  this  time  an  officer 
in  Loudon's  Highlanders  :  his  brother  Robert  was  a  young  mer- 
chant at  Stirling.  Lord  Crawford  had  been  the  first  Colonel  of 
the  Independent  Companies,  which  in  time  became  the  42nd  ;  he 
was  at  this  time  commanding  a  large  force  of  Hessians  and  others, 
located  in  the  central  dist)  icts  of  Scotland — Perth,  Stirling,  <fec. — 
and  watching  the  passes.  The  party  which  surprised  and  routed 
the  detachment  at  Keith  was  one  of  200  foot  and  40  horse,  under 
the  command  of  Major  Glascoe,  a  French  officer  of  Irish  origin. 
They  were  sent  from  the  Prince's  army,  encamped  beyond  the 
Spey.  It  is  stated  th*t  only  a  few  of  Campbell's  detachment 
escaped,  the  remainder  being  killed  or  taken  prisoners,  and  that 
an  officer,  probably  Ardslignish,  1  non-commissioned  officer,  and  5 
privates  were  killed,  and  that  12  of  Major  Glascoe's  party  were 
killed  or  wounded.  Campbell's  party  was  sent  to  Keith  by  order 
of  General  Bland  from  Strathbogie.  See  Browne's  History  of  the 
Highlands. 

Of  the  Argyleshire  Regiment,  John  Campbell,  yr.  of  Auchnaba, 
was  mortally  wounded  at  Culloden. 

[to  be  continued.] 


9.6th  NOVEMBER,  1896. 

At  the  meeting  this  evening  Mr  Robert  Stuart,  46  Shore 
Street,  Inverness,  was  elected  an  ordinary  member  of  the  Society. 
Thereafter  Mr  A.  Macbain,  M.A.,  read  a  pai  er  in  Gaelic,  con- 
tributed by  Mr  Neil  Macleod,  Edinburgh,  Bard  to  the  Society, 
entitled  "  Beagan  Dhuilleag  bho  Sheann  Bhardachd  Eilean-a'- 
Che6."     The  paper  was  as  follows  : — 

BEAGAN  DHUILLEAG  BHO  SHEANN  BHARDACHD 
EILEAN-A'-CHEO. 

Cha  robh  suidheachadh  aims  am  biodh  an  seanu  Ghaidheal, 
co  dhiu  ab'e  aighear  no  bron,  soirbheachd  no  doirbheachd,  nach 
robh  luinneag  no  duanag  6rain  aige  a  bha  freagarrach  air  cor 
inntinn  aig  gach  am. 

Mu  'n  robh  leabhraichean  agus  paipeiran-naigheachd  air  an 
cl6-bhualadh  agus  air  an  craobh-sgaoileadh  air  feadh  na  Gaidhealt- 
achd  mar  a  tha  iad  an  diugh,  bha  gach  eachdraidh,  ceol,  bardachd, 
agus  uirsgeul,  air  an  giulan  air  aghaidh  o  linn  gu  linn  air  cuimhn' 


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172  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

agus  meomhair  an  t-sluaigh.  Dh'  fhag  sin  na  Gaidheil  na  'n  sluagh 
g&ir-chuiseach,  beachdail,  agus  fiosrach  air  eachdraidh  agus  bard- 
achd  nan  linntean  a  dh'  fhalbh.  Bha  mdran  de  spiorad  na 
bardachd  anns  na  Gaidheil  gu  nadurra.  Cha  'n  'eil  teagamh  nach 
do  chuidich  an  d6igh  caithe-beatha,  agus  maise  na  duthcha  anns 
an  d'  fhuair  iad  an  crannchur,  ann  a  bhi  'g  arach  an  spioraid  sin 
annta.  Tha  ea^al  orm  nach  ann  a'  beothachadh  a  tha  'n  spiorad 
rioghail  sin  ann  an  Gaidheil  an  latha  'n  diugh,  ach  a'  basachadh. 
Agus  bu  mhdr  am  beud  e.  Ach  gu  bhi  tighinn  a  dh'  ionnsuidh 
ar  ceann  teagaisg.  Bheir  sinn  dhuibh  a  chiad  duilleag  bho  'n 
obair  aig  Raonull  Domhnullach,  no  mar  «bu  trie  a  gheibheadh  e, 
"Raonull  Mac-Iain-'Ic-Eobhainn."  Bha  Raonull,  'na  dhuine 
sunndach,  abhachdach,,  aighearach,  agus  'na  dheadh  bhard.  Chuir 
e  mdran  ri  'cheile  de  bhardachd  bhinn,  cheolmhor,  ach  's  e  gl6 
bheag  a  chaidh  riamh  ann  an  clo  dhe  'shaothair.  Rinneadh  an 
t-6ran  a'  leauas  do  choille  bhig  ris  an  abradh  iad  "  Grimsaig,"  mar 
gum  b'  i  fh&n  a  bhiodh  ga  dheanamh. 

Grimsaig. 

'S  e  labhair  Grimsaig  's  a'  mhaduinn, 
Gu  moch  's  i  teannadh  ri  seanachas, — 
Gur  a  lionmhor  m'  aobhar  smaointinn 
Bho  'n  thainig  orm  aois  'us  aimsir ; 
'S  beag  an  t-ioghnadh  mi  bhi  tursach 
'N  uair  a  bheir  mi  suil  mu'n  cuairt  dhomh, 
An  dreach  a  bh'  orm  ri  linn  m'  oige 
Fath  mo  bhroin  e  bhi  as  m'  aonais. 

Bu  bhadanach,  soilleir,  sughmhor, 
An  cruth  's  an  ro  mi  's  an  am  sin, 
Gu  fluranach,  duiliench,  aluinn, 
'S  mi  'g  elridh  ri  blaths  an  t-samhraidh, 
Gu  meurach,  meanglanach,  bileach, 
Gu  h-ianach  ribheidach  ceolmher, 
Gu  bocach,  maoisagach,  meannach, 
Nach  iarr  's  an  earrach  an  crodhadh. 

Bu  shlatach,  cabarach,  lionmhor, 

Mo  chuile  dhiomhair,  's  bu  sheasgair, 

Gu  gallanach,  fada,  fior-ghlan, 

Gu  h-6ganach,  d\reach,  seasmhor. 

'S  iomadh  boc  'us  maoiseach  tharr-fhionn, 

Agus  gabhar  bhallach  mheanbh-bhreac, 

'N  uair  dh'  fhairicheadh  iad  fuachd  na  gaillionn, 

A  thigeadh  fo'  m'  bharrach  gu  tearmann. 


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Sheann  Bhardachd  Eilean-a'-Cheo.  173 

Far  am  biodh  cronan  nan  damh, 
Gu  croic-cheannach,  corrach,  ard, 
Slios*  air  nach  luidheadh  an  dealt, 
'S  trie  a  thug  mi  fasgadh  dha  ; 
'S  iomadh  fear  a  ghabh  air  fath, 
Air  a  tharr  ri  sail  nan  cnoe, 
'S  mu  'n  tugadh  e  cheann  a  sas 
Bhiodh  e  ri  lar  air  a  lot. 

Cho  fad  's  a'  rachadh  duthar  nam  beann 
Chuirinu-sa  faileas  mo  chrann  ; 
Ach  chaoohail  mo  chumadh  's  mo  ghreann, 
7S  chaill  mi  gach  urram  a  bh'  ann ; 
Chaill  mi  gach  buaidh  a  bha  romham, 
Chaill  mi  mo  dhreach  'us  mo  shnodhach, 
Chaill  mi  meanglain  air  gach  taobh  dhiom, 
Chaill  mi  mo  chaorunn  's  mo  chnomhan. 

Chaill  mi  mo  dhuilleach  's  mo  bharr, 
Chaill  mi  h-uile  h-agh  a  bh'  agam, 
Ghrod  mo  fhr^umhan  anns  an  lar, 
'Us  ard  a  chuireadh  blath  bho  'n  talamh ; 
Ach  dh'  fhas  mi  'na  m'  choille  lomain, 
Tha  mi  air  pronnadh  's  air  gearradh, 
Cha  'n  'eil  geug  annam  gun  lubadh, 
Gu  h-iosgadach,  gluineach,  meallacb. 

Oran  an  Uisgb-bhbatha, 

Chaidh  an  t<>ran  sunndach  so  a  dheanamh  leis  an  ughdair 
ch^udna.  Tha  'n  t-6ran  so  gle  thric  air  ainmeachadh,  "  Cuach 
Mhic-IU,-Anndrais,,/  ach  cha  'n  'eil  c6ir  no  buntuinn  aig  an  dara 
h-oran  ris  an  6ran  eile  : — 

'N  am  e'iridh  anns  a'  mhaduinn  dhomh, 

'S  mi  dol  a  mach  gu  m'  sheirbheis, 

Gu  'n  thachair  oigfhear  gasda  rium, 

*S  bu  charthannach  a  sheanachas ; 

'N  uair  thaituinn  fhearas-chuideachd  rium, 

'S  ann  cuide  ris  gu  'n  d'  fhalbh  mi, 

Thug  esan  bharr  an  rothaid  mi, 

'S  dh'  fhag  sin  an  gnothach  ainmeiL 

Ged  dh*  fhalbh  mi  air  an  turus  ud, 
Air  m'  urras  bha  mi  smaointinn, 
Gu  'm  bu  mhath  an  tearnadh  dhomh, 
Na  *n  tarainn  a  bhi  saor  uai' ; 


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174  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

Thachair  cuid  dhe  'chairdean  ris, 
Dha  'm  b'  abhaist  a  bhi  'n  gaol  air, 
'S  cho  fad  'sa  mhaireadh  fairdein  dhaibh 
Bhiodh  pairt  dhe  air  a  thaobh-san. 

'N  uair  bha  mi  greis  'na  'chomunn, 

Bha  mi  'n  sin  a'  togairt  falbh  as, 

Ach  fhuair  mi  e  cho  caoimhneil 

'S  gu  'n  do  dh'  fhaighnich  mi  cia  ainm  dha  ; 

Thuirt  esan  "  dean  air  t-athais, 

'Us  glaodh  fhathast  air  an  t-searbhanta, — 

Lion  an  soitheach  s61achadh, 

Am  fear  'tha  'n  stop  mar  ainm  air." 

Ghnog  mi  mas  a'  ghurraich, 
'S  chuir  mi  cuireadh  air  an  t-searbhanta, 
Smaonich  mi  bho  'n  dh'  fhuirich  mi 
Gum  faighiun  bun  a  sheanchais ; 
Dh7  fhe6raich  mi  co  shloinneadh  dha, 
Ged  cheileadh  e  de  b'  ainm  dha, 
*S  ann  thuirt  e  rium  gu  faoilidh — 
"  Cha  bhi  h-aon  dhiu  ort  an  dearmad." 

"  Ma  tha  thu  'g  iarraidh  edlais  orm, 
'S  gu  ;m  bheil  thu  'feorach  m'  ainme, 
Gu  'm  faigh  thu  fios  mo  shloinnidh 
Le  bhi  uine  bheag  'na  m'  sheanchas ; 
'S  mi  mac  na  poite-duibhe 
Bhios  'na  suidhe  am*  bun  a'  ghealbhain, 
'Se  'n  t-eorna  buidhe  is  athair  dhomh, 
'S  i  'n  atharnach  mo  sheana-mhathair." 

"  Ma  sa  tusa  an  urra  sin 

Bha  thu  'na  d'  churaidh  calma, 

Cha  chuala  mi  fear  eallaich 

Bheireadh  barrachd  ort  an  Alba ; 

Gu  dearbh  bu  deadh  fhear  gnothaich  thu, 

'S  bu  chomharraichte  air  falbh  thu, 

Bu  dannsair  math  le  fidhill  thu, 

'S  ad*  shuidhe  bu  tu  'n  seanachaidh." 

"Buleoghann  treubhach,  sgairteil,  thu, 
Cha  robh  thu  lag  no  leanabail ; 
'S  mar  biodh  iad  ga  do  bhaisteadh, 
Gum  biodh  cuid  dhe  d'  bheairtean  ainmeil. 


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i 


Sheann  Bhardachd  Eilean-a'-Cheo.  175 

Dhuisgeadh  tu  na  cadalaich, 

'S  gu  'n  lagradh  tu  fear  amasguidh, 

'S  gu  'n  deanadh  tu  fear  lapach 

'Chur  an  staid  an  fhir  bu  mheannaichV 

"  D£  nis  is  aite  fuirich  dhuit, 
No  'm  bheil  do  bhunait  dearbhte, 
No  'm  bi  thu  aig  daoin'  uailse 
Mar  bha  thu  uair  dhe  t-ainisir  ? 
'S  minig  a  bhiodh  fuaim  ac'  ort, 
Ga  d'  chur  an  cuachan  airgioid, 
Bhiodh  uisge  teth  'us  fuar  aca, 
Ri  truaiileadh  do  mhac-meaninainn." 

"  Cha  'n  fhuiling  iad  an  trath-sa  mi, 

Tha  ailleas  agus  anabharr 

Ga  'n  lionadh  leis  an  staitalachd, 

Tha  aileadh  sa  ro  shearbh  leo ; 

Cha  leig  iad  ball  na  'n  lathair  dhiom, 

Bho  'n  tha  mi  'fas  an  Alba, 

Ach  fion,  'us  ruma,  'us  branndaidh, 

Rud  tha  tigh'nn  an  nail  air  fairge." 

"  Tha  'n  gnothach  sin  ro  chruadalach, 
Ma  chumair  uainn  do  chdmhradh ; 
Theid  a'  chuis  bho  eireachdas 
Ma  cheilear  air  an  st6p  thu-«— 
Ga  d'  ghlasadh  ann  an  seilearan, 
Gun  choire  tha  e  neonach  ; 
'S  gur  iomadh  fear  a  theireadh 
Nach  bu  bheag  air  thu  'na  shedmar." 

Oran  an  Acrais. 

Bheir  sinn  aon  duilleag  eile  dhuibh  bho  'n  obair  aig  Raonull 
cbir,  agus  an  sin  gabhaidh  sinn  ar  cead  de  aig  an  am  so.  Tha  e 
coltach  gu'n  robh  Raonull  agus  an  t-acras  gu  math  eolach 
air  cach-a-che*ile,  agus  cha  b'  ann  coirde  bhitheadh  iad.  Ach 
cluinneamid  beachd  Raonull  fh^in  air  a'  chuis  : — 

Gur  edlach  air  an  acras  mi, 

Tha  theachdaireachd  neo-inntinnach, 

Gur  trie  a  thug  e  turrag  orm 

An  uiridh  roimh  am  dinneireach. 


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176  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

Am  fear  a  bhios  'n  a  dhraghaire, 
Neo-aghartach,  mi-dh\chiollach, 
Cho  luath  '8  a  gheibh  e  e61as  air 
Cha  deonach  leis  a  chuiteachadh. 

Thug  e  na  h-ochd  seachduinnean 

Air  fasdadh  'n  a  rao  theaghlach-sa, 

Dh'  fheuch  e  ri  mo  sporan, 

Fhuair  e  cothrom  math  air  fhaothachadh  ; 

Thug  e  gach  ni  bhuineadh  dhomh, 

A  bhuileachadh  dhe  'n  t-saoghal  dhiom — 

Cha  mhor  nach  tug  e'  m  bas  dhomh 

Ach  gu  'n  d'  fhag  e  'na  mo  Kaonull  mi. 

Cha  'u  eol  dhomh  fear  do  bhuitheis 

Anns  a  h-uile  cuis  a  dh'  innsinn  ort, 

Gu  'm  fag  thu  air  bheag  luiths 

Am  fear  a  bhios  tu  dluth  do  'n  mheis  aige. 

'S  iomadh  duine  giulanta 

Dha  'n  d'  ionnsaich  thu  droch  innleachdan, 

'S  gu  'n  cailleadh  fear  a  naire 

Dol  air  sgath  na  teachd-an-tir  ugad. 

'S  eol  dhomh  cuid  dhe  d'  chleachdaidhean, 

Bidh  fasanan  ro  rahiodhoir  agad, 

'S  trie  a  bhios  tu  's  deifir  ort 

A*  dol  a  dh'  fheitheamh  mhireanan  ; 

'N  uair  thigeadh  tn  's  an  fheasgar 

Cha  b'  fhear  greisaid  thu  air  sior-obair, 

'S  gur  iomadh  oigfhear  beadarrach 

A  rinn  do  chleasan  cllleag  dhe. 

'S  corrail  an  am  gluasaid  thu, 

Cha  dualach  dhuit  bhi  siobhalta, 

Cha  'n  fhaicear  fiamh  duin'-uasail  ort 

A  latha  fuar  no  shide  math  ; 

'N  uair  theannadh  tu  ri  miananaich 

Bu  diachainneach  air  chlbhlean  thu, 

'S  a  righ  gur  iomadh  sgiabadh 

'Thug  thu  air  mo  bhial  na  'n  innsinn  e. 

Tha  mi  'n  duil  gu  'n  d'  theich  thu  uam 
A  bhleidein  's  dearbh'  bu  tlm  dhuit  sin, 
Bu  trie  a  thug  thu  greis  agam 
'S  bu  leisg  do  dhol  an  Ire  dhomh  ; 


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Sheann  Bhardachd  Ei/eana'-Cheo.  177 

Cha  'n  fhaic  mi  ball 's  a'  gheamhradh  dhiot, 

Cha  b'  e  sin  am  do  sMnnsireachd, 

Ach  ruigidh  tu  mi  's  t-samhradh 

Bho  'n  '8  e  uair  bu  ghann  mo  libhrigeadh. 

Mo  bheannachd  do  'n  bhuntata 

Bho  'n  's  e  'ghrainich  bhuam  a'  chiad  uair  thu, 

Cho  luath  's  a  thug  mi  dhachaidh  e, 

Cha  'n  fhacas  bad  a'  bhliadhn,  ud  dhiot ; 

Ma  sguir  thu  dhe  mo  thaghal 

Gur  e  sin  mo  roghainn  iarradais  ; 

Mo  mhallachd  as  do  dheighaidh 

'S  math  a'  chobhair  learn  gu  'n  thriall  thu  bhuam. 

Chaidh  an  t-oran  a'  leanas  a  dheanamh  le  bean  uasal,  ghrinn, 
thalanntach,  Baintighearna  D'Oyly,  fior  bhana-Ghaidheal,  agus 
deadh  bhana-bhard.  Bhuineadh  Baintighearna  D'Oyly,  do 
theaghlach  Mhic-'Iir-Challum,  Rasair.  Rinn  i  m6ran  bardachd 
nach  ro  riamh  ann  an  cl6.  Tha  coig  dhe  cuid  6rain  anns  a'  cho- 
chruinneachadh  aig  Mac-na-Ceardaidh— an  "  t-Oranaiche."  Tha 
luinneag  bhinn,  che61mhor  leatha  ann  an  "  Sar-obair  nam  bard 
Gaelach" — "Thainig  an  gille  dubh  'n  raoir  do  'n  bhaile" — ach  's 
beag  sin  dhe  na  rinn  i  de  bhardachd.  Agus  ged  a  rugadh  's  a 
thogadh  a'  bhean  uasal,  ghrinn  so  ann  an  teaghlach  mhuirneach 
agus  ard-inbheach,  cha  d'  thug  sin  oirre  taire  dheanamh  air  seann 
cbanain  a  sinnsir.  Lean  i  riamh  gu  seasmhach,  dileas,  eudmhor, 
a'  dion  na  Gailig,  agus  cliu  nan  Gaidheal. 

Oran  do  Rasair. 

Eilean  ghaolaich,  eilean  ghradhaich, 

Eilean  anns  an  d'  fhuair  mi  m'  arach  ; 

'S  ge  do  chunnaic  mi  iomadh  aite 

'S  e  'n  Clachan  grianach  riamh  a  b'  fhearr  learn. 

Fior  shiol  Thorcuill  a  ruaigeadh  fairge, 
Nam  birlinn  caol  leis  an  sgaoilte  an  garbh-thonn; 
'S  nan  lannan  g^ur  leis  an  r^ubt'  an  targaid, 
'S  nan  cuilbheir  gteusda  gu  f^um  an  t-sealgair. 

Sliochd  Iain  Ghairbh,  an  gaisgeach  treubhach, 
Cha  d'  fhag  thu  'n  Alba  fear  do  bheusan  ; 
Fear  laidir,  meanmnach,  gu  cath  na  seilge, 
'S  tu  d*  fhag  an  t-ainm  ged  a  b'  6g  a  dh'  ^ug  thu. 

12 

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178  Oaelio  Society  of  Inverness. 

Tlr  nan  gaisgeach,  tir  nan  uasal, 
Na  Leodaich  ghasda,  ghleusda,  uaibhreach  ; 
Na  fleasgaich  6ga,  gun  smal  gun  ghruaimean, 
Gu  direadh  bbeanntan,  's  gu  siubhal  chuantan. 

Tlr  nam  maighdean  bu  chaoimhneil  failte, 
Nam  bilean  m\n-dhearg,  's  nan  dexidaibh  aluinn  ; 
Nan  suilean  dubh-ghorm,  's  nan  leadain  f hainnteach ; 
'S  an  anail  cubhraidh  mar  dhriuchd  an  fhasaich. 

Eilean  fallain  gur  pailt  gach  Ion  ann, 

Nan  gleannan  grianach ;  nau  sliabh  's  nam  mbinteach ; 

Gheibhte  fraoch  agus  craobhan  mor  ann, 

Bho  Chnoc-an-Ratha  gu  Carn-nan-neoinean. 

B'  e  sin  an  talamh  bba  rioghail,  6rdail, 

Bu  trie  daoin'  uaisle  nan  suidh'  aig  b6rd  ann  ; 

Bha  mais'  'us  buaidh  air  gach  lagan  uaine 

'S  a*  mhuir  mu  'n  cuairt  air  le  luingeas  she61aidh. 

'S  ann  a  chluinnte  fuaim  nam  ploban, 

Cluich  air  chlarsaich  'us  fonn  air  ftdhlibh ; 

Bhiodh  danns'  'us  ceol  ann,  bhiodh  mir'  'us  sp6rs'  ann, 

'Us  fuinn  air  orain  am  measg  nan  nlghneag. 

An  am  an  iasgaich  bhiodh  mile  seol  ann, 

Air  linne  ghrianaich  bho  thir  mo  sholais  ; 

'S  air  gach  taobh  dheth  na  beanntan  mora, 

Bho  'n  Chuillin  ard  gu  Dimcanna  'n  fheoir  ghlais. 

Dh'  fhalbh  an  uair  sin,  dh'  fhalbh  an  tlm  sin, 

Dh'  fhalbh  mo  chairdean,  dh'  fhalbh  mo'mhuinntir ; 

Tha  daoine  Galld'  ann  an  tigh  mo  shinnsir, 

O,  eilean  ghradhaich  cha  'n  fhaic  mi  chaoidh  thu. 

Iain  oig  Mhic-'IUe-Challum, 
Mu  'n  d'  rugadh  thu  bha  sud  air  aithris — 
Gu  'm  falbhadh  uatsa  do  thuath  'us  t-fhearann, 
Do  chliu  's  do  bhuaidh,  'us  do  lamh  bhi  falamh. 

Seic  thu  t-oighreachd,  reic  's  do  dhuthaich, 
Bha  aig  do  theaghlach  roimh  am  nan  Stiubhart ; 
Ach  's  iomadh  cridhe  bha  briste,  bruite, 
Air  feadh  do  mhuinntir  'n  uair  chuir  thu  cul  ri. 


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Sheann  Bhardachd  Eilean-tf-Cheo.  17$ 

Oran. 

Le  Iain  Mac  Dh6mhnuill-'Ic-Alasdair. 

Eugadli  Iain  Domhnullach,  no  mar  is  trie  a  gheibheadh  e,  Iain 
Mac-DhomhnuilVIc-Alasdair,  ann  an  Uige.  Bha  e  beagan 
bhliadhnaichean  's  an  Reiseamaid  Dhubh.  Cha  robh  athair 
dednach  e  bhi  's  an  arm  agus  cheannaich  e  as  e.  An  deigh  an 
t-arm  fhagail  thainig  e  air  ais  do  Ghleann  Uige.  Thug  e  fichead 
sanihradh  'sa  h-ochd  aig  iasgach  an  sgadain.  Bu  trie  leis  a  bhi 
aig  an  tigh  'sa  a'  gheamhradh.  'S  ann  air  falbh  aig  an  iasgach  a 
bha  e  'n  uair  a  rinn  e  'n  t-6ran  so.  Rinneadh  iomadh  oran  agus 
duanag  laghach  le  lain.  Ach  tha  eagal  orm  gu  'm  bheil  moran 
dhiubh  nach  gabh  faotainn  an  iris.  Rugadh  e  mu  'n  bhliadhna 
J  797,  agus  chaochail  e  's  a*  bhliadhna  1875. 

Dh'  eirich  mise  maduinn  chiuin, 
'S  gu  'n  thog  sinn  siuil  ri  garbh-chruinn, 
Chunnacas  diibhradh  mor  is  dudlachd 
An  dam  taobh  Jn  uair  dh?  fhalbh  sinn ; 
*S  gu  'n  sh&d  i  bras  le  borb-thuinn  chas, 
'S  i  tighinn  a  mach  gu  gailbheach ; 
'S  i  ruith  le  sugh  air  bharr  gach  stuchd, 
Ri  togail  smuid  na  fairge. 

Bu  mhath  bhi  'n  uair  sin  feadh  na  luachrach, 

Shuas  aig  airidh  Uige, 

Far  'in  bi  na  h-uain  Js  na  caoraich  luaineach, 

Ruith  mu  'n  cuairt  gu  siubhlach  ; 

Mi  fhin  Js  mo  chruinneag  ri  mo  ghualainn 

'S  deamhais  chruadhach  duint'  aic', 

Gach  fear  'us  gille  ruith  mu  'n  cuairt, 

'S  bhiodh  D6mhnull  Ruadh  le  'chu  ann. 

Sud  an  gleann  is  boidhche  sealladh 

Ann  am  maduinn  reota ; 

Le  caoraich  gheala,  dhubh,  'us  ghlasa, 

Cuid  dhiu  tarr-fhionn,  br6gach  ; 

'S  bidh  lair  le  'n  searraich  'm  bun  gach  beallaich, 

Suas  ri  srath  nan  16intean, 

'S  a  dh'  aindeoin  ^aillionn  no  fuachd  Earraich 

Cha  'n  iarr  mart  ann  crodhadh. 


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180  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

'S  iomadh  caileag  chuimir,  ghuanach, 

Tha  ann  ri  cuallach  spreidhe, 

Le  cuman  's  buarach  dol  do  'n  bhuaile, 

'S  laoigh  mu  'n  cuairt  di  'geumnaich. 

B'  e  'n  ce61  nach  b'  f  huathach  learn  an  duanag 

'Na  suidhe  luadh  air  cleithidh, 

Mi-fhin  gu  h-uallacb  's  piob  ri  m*  ghualainn 

Cluich  nan  nuallan  &bhinn. 

'S  iomadb  caileag  bboidheacb,  chuimir, 

Bhios  na  'n  suidh'  aig  cuibhle  ; 

Sniomh  nan  rolag,  seinn  nan  luinneag, 

Bidh  gach  iorram  bhinn  ac', — 

An  snath  is  boidhche  falbh  bho  meoirean, 

Cothroin,  c6mhnard,  slnte, 

'S  am  fait  na  chuaich  air  chul  an  cluais, 

'S  e  togta  suas  le  cirean. 

'N  uair  bha  mi  6g  mu  'n  d'  rinn  mi  posadh, 

Bha  mi  gorach,  aotrom, 

Falbh  gu  sp6rsail  'measg  nan  oighean, 

Sud  an  seol  bu  chaomh  learn  ; 

.'S  an  te  bhiodh  coir  's  a  bheireadh  pog  dhomh 

Shuidhinn  stolt*  ri  taobh-sa  ; 

'S  o  'n  te  nach  f  uilingeadh  ball  'n  a  'c6ir  dhiom 

Gheibhinn  d6rn  mu  'n  aodann. 

'N  uair  thig  an  geamhradh  's  am  nam  bainnsean,. 

Gheibh  sinn  dram  na  T6iseachd ; 

Bidh  Nollaig  chridheil  aig  cloinn-nighean 

'S  aig  na  gillean  6ga ; 

Na  mnathan  fein  gu  subhach,  eibhinn, 

'S  iad  a'  gleusadh  oran, 

'S  bidh  dram  aig  bodaich  anns  an  fhodar — 

JSogan  orra  'comhradh. 

Gheibhte  sgialachdan  ro  bhriadha 
Aig  bodaich  Hatha  cheanna-ghlas ; 
B'  iad  sud  na  se6id  'n  uair  bha  iad  6g 
Gu  iomart  bho  feadh  gharbhlach ; 
Gu'm  biodh  iad  trie  's  an  Eaglais-bhric 
Ag  iomain  cruidh  feadh  ghart)h-chrioch, 
'S  cha  rachadh  brog  a  chur  mu  'n  sp6ig 
Gu  ruigte  an  ceo  o  'n  d'  fhalbh  iad. 


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Sheann  Bhardaohd  Eilean-a'-Cheo.  181 

Iain-Ic-Thearlaich  far  do  lamb, 

Tha  sinne  cairdeil  daonnan  ; 

Tha  thus'  a'  fas  is  mise  cnamh, 

'S  mo  cheann  cho  ban  ri  faoileig  ; 

Bu  mhor  an  toileacbadh  do  phaisde 

Gheibheadh  blath  ri  taobh  thu ; 

'N  uair  tbig  an  gearabradb  bidh  ta  'n  sas 

Aig  nighean  bhan  Mhic-Mhaoilein. 

'S  iomadh  oidbche  fbluicb  'us  fbuar 

A  gbabh  mi  suas  an  t-ard-cbnoc, 

A  sbealltain  air  a'  chaileig  ghuanaich, 

Bean  nan  gruaidbean  narach ; 

Olc  no  matb  le  lucbd  ar  tuaileis 

A  luaidh,  gus  mi  gad*  fhagail, 

Phos  mi  'n  sin  thu  's  tbug  mi  uatb  tbu, 

'S  bba  sud  cruaidb  le  Padruig. 

Fhir  a  shiubbleas  gu  mo  dhuthaicb — 

'S  ann  a  Uig  a  db'  fhalbh  mi — 

Tboir  beannacbd  dubailte  ga  Jn  ionnsuidh 

Cbosdas  cruintean  airgioid  ; 

'Us  can  ri  Seochd  Jtba  anns  aJ  Chuil, 

An  co-dhunadb  mo  sbeanachais, 

Gur  barail  learn  gu  'm  faic  mi  'gbnuis 

Mu  'n  teid  an  uir  air  Armcbul. 

Oran  Bhonapartb. 

Rinneadb  an  t-6ran  a'  leana^  le  Aonghas  Shaw  (Mac-an-Lighich), 
deadh  bhard  agus  deadh  shaigbdear.  Db'  fbuiling  e  moran 
amhgbair  agus  alaban,  ann  an  iomadh  cearn  de  'n  t-saoghal  ann  an 
seirbheis  a  rigb  's  a  dhutbcha.  Rinn  e  'n  t-6ran  fearail  so  aig 
criochnachadh  cogagb  na  Frainge.  Tha  e  air  aithris  gu  'n  do 
thachair  Mac-an-Lighich  agus  am  bard  Couanach,  ri  cheile  aon 
uair  ann  an  Tigh-6sda  Dhunbheagain.  Tha  e  coltach  gun  ro  am 
bard  Conanach  'na  luidhe  air  an  urlar  leis  a'  mhisg.  Sheas  Mac- 
an-Lighich  os  a  chionn,  agus  thuirt  e  : — 

"  Tha  'm  bard  Conanach  gu.  tlnn, 
Air  a  drium  an  tigh  an  oil ; 
'S  ge  bJ  e  phaigh  air  son  na  deoch, 
Bbeir  e  biadh  do  choin  Mhic-Le6id." 


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IBS  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

Ach  bha  'm  bard  Conanaeh  cho  deas  ris  fhein.     Thionndaidh  e 
agus  fhreagair  Mac-an-Lighich,  air  ais  leis  an  rami  a'  leauas : — 

"  Thug  thu  masladh  do  Mhac-Ledid, 
'S  dhomhsa  cha  bu  choir  a  ohleith — 
Nach  fhaigheadh  a  chuid  con  de  Ion 
Ach  na  ni  luchd  6il  a  sgeith." 

ORAN   BHONIPARTE. 

Na  'm  b'  fhear-focail  bhiodh  giar  mi 
Gun  lochd  bhi  'na  m'  bhriathran, 
Gu  'n  innsinn  nam  b'  f  hi  ach  leibh, 
An  sgiala  so  a  th'  ann  ; 
Ma  'sa  h-eachdraidh  tha  fior  i 
Thug  a'  phacaid  an  iar  dhuinn, 
Tha  na  naimhdean  a  phian  sinn 
Air  an  ciosnachadh  teann  ; 
'S  ann  's  a*  rahUe  's  ochd  ciad, 
Agus  coig-bliadhna-diag 
Thainig  naidheachd  na  sithe 
Bho  chriocbaibh  na  Fraing  ; 
Bha  sinn  fada  'g  a  h-iarraidh 
'S  tha  Breatainn  Ian  riaraichte, 
Tha  na  Frangaich  air  striochdadh 
Le  diobhail  ar  lann. 

Rinn  lamhaich  fir  Lunnuinn, 
Agus  cabhlaeh  ar  luiugeas, 
Bonaparte  chur  an  cunnart 
Ged  a  dh'  fhuiliug  e  stri ; 
Neart  laidir  ar  gillean, 
Anns  nach  tarmaicheadh  giorag 
'S  nach  saraicheadh  fionnachd 
Fo  shileadh  nan  speur  ; 
Rachadh  dana  ri  teine, 
Anns  na  blaraibh  gu  minig ; 
Buaidh  larach  gach  fine 
Ag  io^ain  an  treud, 
Rinn  spairn  an  cuid  piostal 
An  garradh  a  bhristeadh, 
Ghabh  Spain! aich,  'us  Turcaich 
'Us  Prusaich  ratreut. 


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Sheann  Bhardachd  Eilean-a'-Cheo.  183 

Gu'n  d'  illsich  sirni  "  Boni," 
Ged  a  b'  ard  a  bha  cboileir, 
Le  ailleachd  's  le  olachd, 
Le  cbonas  's  le  shannt ; 
Thainig  beam'  air  a  dhorus, 
Far  an  d'  f  haillig  am  balla, 
Chaidh  am  meirleach  ri  talamh, 
Leis  a*  characbd  a  bh'  ann  ; 
Cba  robb  stath  'n  a  chuid  chanan, 
Cbaidb  a  phairtaidh  an  tainead, 
Rinn  a  dbanadas  cearrail, 
A  cbuid  fearainn  a  cball ; 
Cbaidb  a  phalais  a  ghlacadh, 
Le  h-airneis  's  le  b-aitreabb, 
'S  tba  'n  Spain  air  a  creachadb 
*S  cha  robb  'chaagairt  ud  fann. 

Na  'm  biodb  tre6ir  na  mo  neart-sa, 
'N  uair  bba  'n  rogaire  ud  glacte, 
Ged  nach  b'  bheo  mi  fad  seachduin, 
Cbuirinn  acaid  na  cbom  ; 
Gheibbinu  c6crach  a  nasgaidh, 
Bbiodb  na  rdpan  an  cleachdidh, 
Cbuirinn  c6rd  dbi  ga  tbacbdadh, 
'S  e  gun  tacsa  ri'  bbonn  ; 
Bbiodh  a  shedmraichean  daingeann 
'S  a  cb6mhla  air  a  barradh, 
Gun  aon  de6  tbighinn  dhe  anail 
Ged  Vobb  theanga  'n  a  poll  ; 
Bbiodh  a  l&ne  dbe  'n  darach, 
Cba  bhiodh  feuni  air  an  anart, 
'S  bbiodh  an  rebal  fo  'n  talamh 
'S  leachd  thana  ri'  thorn. 

Sgriobhainn  aintn  a  lic-san — 
Fear  mharbhadh  nam  fichead, 
Ceann  armailt  a  bhristidh 
Ceann  stuice  gaub  rog, 
Ard  cbealgair  nam  piotal, 
Air  an  alachaig  bu  trie  thu 
Chuir  am  farbhas  'na  d'  dhrip  tbu, 
'S  chuir  e  sgiotadh  'na  &1  e6in  ; 


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184  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

Cha  V  e  'n  caiman  do  thiotal, 
Cha  b'  e  chalmachd  bu  mheas  dhuit, 
Rinn  fir  Alba  agus  Blucher 
Do  chuid  isein  a'  le6n  ; 
Murtair  arraailt  na  creiche, 
Robair  airgioid  na  Tuirco, 
Cluinnear  t-ainm  anns  gach  litir, 
Fhir  nach  d1  fhiosraich  a'  ch6ir. 

Fear  gun  naire  ,gun  mheas  thu, 

Gun  chairdeas,  gun  gliocas, 

Gun  bhaigh  ri  fear  briste, 

Gun  iochd  ri  fear  leoint' ; 

Graine  mullaich  an  t-sluiehd  thu, 

Tom  gabhaidh  na  buidseachd  ; 

Bha  bathadh  'na  d*  shlugan 

Air  son  slugadh  an  oir ; 

Cha  'n  'eil  geard  no  tigh-cuspainn 

Eadar  Paras  is  Lisbon, 

Nach  robh  'meirleach  'n  am  measg  ann, 

Gus  an  ruigeadh  e  'n  R6imh  ; 

Ged  a  sharaich  thu  mise, 

Le  geard  is  le  piocaid, 

Chaidh  aird  ort  an  nise  ; 

'S  fhearr  fo  'n  lie  thu  na  beo. 

Tha  gach  maighdean  'us  caileag 

Le  deoir  air  am  malaidh, 

Bho  na  mheall  thu  'n  cuid  leannain 

A  dh*  aindeoin  am  bonn. 

Gach  og  agus  sean  bhean, 

Ri  strdiceadh  am  bannaig, 

Bho  na  she61  an  cuid  fearaibh 

Bho  chala  nan  long  ; 

Gach  seang-bhean  's  bean  thorrach, 

'■S  leat  fuidhleach  am  mallachd, 

Thug  thu  'n  coimh-leapaich  shona 

Bbo  'm  broillaichcan  trom  ; 

Tha  gach  mathair  'us  muime, 

Leughadh  gasaid  na  dunach, 

Sgeula  bais  an  cuid  luran 

Fuar,  fionnar,  fo  'n  torn. 


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Sheann  Bhardachd  Eilean-a'-Cheo.  185 

Fhir  a  shiubhlas  an  rat  had 

Gu  duthaich  ar  'n  athar 

Air  chul  nam  beann  srathach 

Far  an  tathaich  an  ce6, 

Thoir  le  durachd  mo  naigheachd 

A  dh'  ionusuidh  nan  coimhearsnach, 

Ceannardan  thighean, 

Nach  biodh  coimheach  ma  'n  Ion ; 

'S  e  mo  dhurachd  gach  latha 

Gu  'm  faie  mi  sibh  fhathast, 

Agus  deireadh  mo  bheatha 

Bhi  ga  caitheamh  'n  'ur  coir ; 

Fhir  a  leughas  an  ealaidh 

'N  uair  a  bhios  tu  ga  gabhail, 

Bi  toirt  cuimhn'  air  an  t-Seathach, 

'S  uisge-beathe  ga  61. 

Bheir  sinn  aon  duanag  ghoirid  eile  bho  'n  obair  aig  Mac-an- 
Lighich,  agus  cuiridh  sin  crioch  air  a'  phaipeir  so.  Kinn  Mac-an- 
Lighich,  an  t-6ran  a'  leanas  'n  uair  a  ghabh  e  's  an  arm  an  toiseach. 
Faodaidh  cuid  a  bhi  faotainn  coire  do  'n  doigh  litreachaidh  a  tha 
air  cuid  a  dh'  fhacail  aims  a'  phaipeir  so.  Ach  tha  iad  air  an  cur 
si os  car  air  a*  mhodh  air  am  bheil  a'  Ghailig  air  a  labhairt  anns  a 
chearn  anns  an  d'  rinneadh  na  h-oiain  so. 


Oran  a*  Ghunna. 

Tha  'n  oidhche  'n  nochd  gle  fhuar 

'S  mi  ri  uallach  mo  cheile, 
Ga  giiilan  air  mo  ghualainn 

Cha  tuairisgeul  br&g  e  ; 
Cha  'n  fhaod  mi  dol  a  dh*  uaigneas 

No  chluaineis  ri  te/  ile 
'S  cha  'n  urrainn  mi  cur  uam 

Ged  nach  d'  fhuair  mi  bho  'n  chleir  i. 

*N  uair  fhuair  mi  as  an  Tur  thu 

'S  tu  ur  bharr  na  faille, 
Bu  bheachd  learn  gu  'm  bu  chliu 

Bhi  ga  <T  ghiulan  gu  h-eutrom  ; 


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186  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

'N  uair  tharruinn  mi  thu  dlu  dhomh 
'S  mi  'u  duil  a  bhi  r&dh  riut ; 

Cha  tuiginn  guth  dhe  d'  chanain 
An  Gailig  no  'm  Beurla. 

Nach  mairg  a  fhuair  ri  giulan 

T^  ruisgte  gun  eldeadh, 
A  chaidleas  anns  na  cuiltean, 

'S  nach  ionnlaid  mo  leine ; 
A  chuireas  feum  air  burn 

Gu  bhi  8giiradh  a  creubhaig, 
Lo  cudrom  chupla  phuund 

Eadar  uilleadh  'us  bhreidean. 

Bho  'n  chiad  la  chuir  mi  snaim  ort 

Ohaidh  maill*  air  mo  l&rsinn, 
Chaidh  til  lead  h  air  mo  chuimhn' 

Agus  buidhread  air  m'  &sdeachd ; 
Chaidh  m'  aigneadh  uil'  air  aimhreit, 

'S  mo  cheann  troimh-a-cheile, 
Nach  bochd  dhomh  bi  fo'  d'  chuing 

'S  tu  gun  suim  dhe  mo  chr^uchdan. 

Freagairt  a!  ghunna — 

Ged  tha  mi  'n  duigh  gun  storas, 

Gun  ch6ta,  gun  leine, 
Gu  'n  chuir  mi  roimh  an  t-6r 

*N  a  do  dhorn  nach  robh  gleidh teach  ; 
Fichead  guinea  comhla 

'N  uair  phos  sinn  le  eibhneas, 
Gur  cinntcach  dhuit  an  corr 

Ma  sa  beo  sinn  le  cheile. 

Cha  choir  dhuit  a  bhi  rium, 

Ged  nach  cunntais  mi  spr&dh  dhuit ; 
Tha  dollair  dhuit  ga  'n  cuinneadh, 

'Us  flux  air  gach  feill  dhuit ; 
Bidh  muic-fheoil,  's  mairt-fheol  ur 

Anns  gach  biitha  do  'n  teid  thu ; 
'S  leat  aran  cheithir  punnd, 

'S  do  chuid  leann  cha  bhi  'n  eis  ort. 


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Annual  Dinner.  187 

12th  JANUARY,  1807. 
TWENTY-FIFTH  ANNUAL  DINNER. 

The  Twenty-fifth  Annual  Dinner  of  the  Society  took  place  in 
the  Caledonian  Hotel  this  evening,  under  the  presidency  of  Cluny 
MacpherBon  of  Cluny,  chief  of  the  Society  for  the  year.  Cluuy 
was  supported  on  the  right  by  Sir  Jacob  Wilson,  Sir  Henry  C. 
Macandrew,  and  Provost  Macpherson,  Kingussie ;  and  on  the  left 
by  Dr  Alexander  Boss,  Rev.  Dr  Norman  Macleod,  and  Mr  Robert- 
son, factor  to  the  Duke  of  Athole.  Mr  Alexander  Maobain,  M.A., 
and  Mr  Alex.  Mackenzie,  publisher,  were  croupiers,  and  over  sixty 
gentlemen  were  present. 

The  Chairman,  who  was  received  with  applause,  gave  the 
customary  loyal  and  patriotic  toasts,  which  were  pledged  with 
enthusiasm. 

Mr  Duncan  Mackintosh,  secretary  to  the  Society,  then  read  a 
long  list  of  apologies  for  absence,  from  members  of  the  Society,  aud 
submitted  the  annual  report  of  the  Executive,  which  was  as 
follows: — In  submitting  the  twenty-fifth  annual  report,  the 
Council  have  pleasure  in  reporting  that  the  Society  has  had 
another  useful  year.  During  the  year  1  life  member,  3 
honorary  members,  aud  14  ordinary  members  joined  the  Society. 
Volume  XX.  is  in  the  hands  of  the  printer,  and  the  Publishing 
Committee  will  endeavour  to  have  it  issued  to  the  members  as 
soon  as  possible.  The  membership  of  the  Society  stands  at 
present-  32  life  members,  51  honorary  members,  and  340 
ordinary  members.  The  Treasurer's  report  is  as  follows : — 
Balance  from  last  year,  ,£25  Is  9d  ;  income  during  year,  £136  7s 
8d  ;  total,  £161  9s  5d  ;  expenditure  during  year,  £100  2s  Id, 
leaving  a  balance  to  the  credit  of  the  Society's  account  in  the 
Bank  of  Scotland  of  £61  7s  4d.  John  Mackay,  Esq.,  J. P.,  Here- 
ford, "has  within  the  last  month  generously  sent  a  special  contribu- 
tion of  £5  towards  the  publishing  fund,  and  during  the  year  a 
number  of  interesting  volumes  have  been  added  to  the  Society's 
library,  including  a  copy  of  the  "  Presbytery  Records  of  Inverness 
and  Dingwall,"  from  the  editor,  the  honorary  secretary  of  the 
Society,  Mr  Wm.  Mackay,  solicitor.  It  may  be  mentioned  that 
the  Society's  annual  assembly  in  July  last,  presided  over  by  Rev. 
Dr  Stewart,  Nether- Lochaber,  was  the  most  successful  ever  held 
under  our  auspices,  and  it  is  evident  that  the  Society  continues  to 
do  excellent  work ;  and  with  a  greater  command  of  funds  would 
still  extend  in  influence  and  usefulness. 


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183  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness 

Cluny,  who  was  enthusiastically  received,  in  giving  the  toast 
of  the  evening,  "Success  to  the  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness," 
said — I  desire  very  heartily  to  thank  the  Council  for  the  high 
complimeut  they  have  paid  me  in  electing  me  "  Chief  of  the 
Society  "  for  the  current  year.  I  appreciate  the  honour  all  the 
more  from  the  fact  that  my  father,  who  was  much  esteemed  by  all 
Highlanders,  was  its  "  first  "  Chief,  and  that  he  continued  to  take 
the  warmest  interest  in  the  prosperity  of  the  Society  down  to  the 
date  of  his  death.  .Re-elected  as  Chief  for  the  second  time  in 
1873,  I  find  from  the  third  volume  of  the  Transactions  that  he 
presided  at  the  annual  dinner  on  13th  January,  1874,  just  twenty- 
three  years  ago,  and  proposed  the  toast  of  "Success  to  the  Society" 
in  the  old  mother  tongue  so  dear  to  us  all.  I  regret  that,  though 
I  am  conversant  with  Gaelic  to  a  certain  extent,  I  am  unable  to 
make  a  speech  in  it,  not  having  learnt  it  in  my  boyhood,  and 
since  then  having  been  so  long  absent  from  the  country  in  the 
service  of  Her  Majesty.  Followed  as  my  father  was  in  the  Chief- 
ship  of  the  Society  by  such  distinguished  and  patriotic 
Highlanders  as  Sir  Kenneth  Mackenzie  of  Gairloch,  Mr  Fraser- 
Miickintosh  of  Drummond,  Professor  Blackie,  Mr  Mackay  of 
Hereford,  Mr  Maclonald  of  Skeabost,  Rev.  Dr  Maclauchlan  of 
Edinburgh,  General  Sir  Patrick  Grant,  Lord  Dunmore,  Lochiel, 
Mr  Mackenzie,  yr.  of  Kintail,  Mr  Munro- Ferguson  of  Novar, 
Mackintosh  of  Mackintosh,  Sir  Henry  Macaudrew,  Mr  Murray 
Grant  of  Glenmoriston,  Mr  Douglas  Fletcher  of  Rosehaugh,  Rev. 
Dr  Norman  Macleod,  aud  Mr  Baillie  of  Dochfour,  the  history  of 
the  Society  since  its  institution  in  1871  has  been,  I  am  glad  to 
say,  one  of  uninterrupted  prosperity  and  progress.  As  you 
are  aware,  "  the  objects  of  the  Society  are  the  perfecting  of  the 
members  in  the  use  of  the  Gaelic  language ;  the  cultivation  of 
the  language,  poetry,  and  music  of  the  Scottish  Highlands ;  the 
rescuing  from  oblivion  of  Celtic  poetry,  traditions,  legends,  books, 
and  manuscripts ;  the  establishing  in  Inverness  of  a  library,  to 
consist  of  books  and  manuscripts  in  whatever  language  bearing 
upon  the  genius,  the  literature,  the  history,  the  antiquities,  and 
the  material  interests  of  the  Highlands  and  the  Highland  people  ; 
the  vindication  of  the  rights  and  character  of  the  Gaelic  people  ; 
aud,  generally,  the  furtherance  of  their  interests,  whether  at  home 
or  abroad."  These  are  most  laudable  objects,  and  I  am  sure  you 
will  all  agree  with  me  that  right  nobly  has  the  Society,  so  far, 
carried  them  out.  The  nineteen  admirable  volumes  already 
published,  a  set  of  which  I  am  proud  to  have  the  privilege 
of  possessing,    are  a   perfect  mine  of  information  regarding  the 


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Annual  Dinner.  189 

poetry,  traditions,  and  legends  of  the  Higlands.  I  am  particularly 
gratified  with  the  exceedingly  valuable  papers  contributed  to  the 
transactions  elucidating  the  history  and  old  folk-lore  of  the  wide 
and  extensive  district  of  Badenoch,  with  which  for  many  centuries 
my  forefathers  have  been  so  intimately  connected,  and  in  which  I 
am  myself  naturally  so  much  interested.  While  it  is  very  satis- 
factory to  find  that  within  the  last  few  years  so  many  clan 
societies  have  been  formed  with  similar  aims,  although  to  a  more 
limited  extent  than  those  of  this  Society,  it  seems  to  me  that  these 
societies  are,  as  a  rule,  if  I  may  be  allowed  to  say  so,  given  to 
spending  too  much  of  their  funds  on  social  functions,  in  the  shape 
of  various  entertainments,  such  as  concerts,  balls,  and  so  on,  t  he 
results  of  which,  although  otherwise  enjoyable  for  the  time,  are 
generally  very  evanescent.  It  certainly  would  be  well,  I  think* 
if  all  such  societies  were  to  follow,  so  far,  the  example  of  this 
Society,  and  devote  the  larger  portion  of  their  annual  income  to 
the  publication  of  old  documents  and  traditions,  as  well  as  the 
founding  of  bursaries  for  deserving  arid  promising  young  students 
connected  with  their  respective  clans.  Without  further  remarks, 
let  me  ask  you,  gentlemen,  to  drink  a  very  hearty  bumper,  with 
all  honour,  to  the  success  of  the  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 
Long  may  it  continue  to  flourish,  and  foster,  as  it  has  so  success- 
fully done  in  the  past,  the  noble  objects  for  which  it  was 
instituted — "  A'  nise  6lamaid  na  h-uile  soirbheachadh  do  Chomuun 
Gailig  Inbhirnis." 

Sir  Henry  Macandrew  proposed  "  Tir  nam  Beann  nan  Gleann  's 
nan  Gaisgeach  " — (applause).  He  believed  the  person  in  charge 
had  endeavoured  to  compress  this  toast  list,  and  had  committed 
to  him  the  duty  of  giving  a  very  comprehensive  and  very  ancient 
toast.  It  embraced  almost  everything  to  which  they  could  wish  to 
drink  upon  such  an  occasion.  It  embraced  the  country  and  the 
people  in  it.  When  they  drank  to  both  they  drank  to  what  all 
of  them  felt  in  their  inmost  hearts  ;  they  drank  to  the  influence 
of  their  country  as  it  bound  them,  the  ideals  existing  in  them,  and 
to  the  memories  that  live  for  ever.  His  toast  also  embraced  the 
people  of  this  country — and  he  believed  it  was  a  very  ancient  toast 
this  "Tir  nam  Beann  nan  Gleann 's  n*an  Gaisgeach";  it  was  also  very 
instructive,  in  as  much  as  it  taught  them  the  way  in  which  their 
ancestors  looked  upon  their  ancestors,  upon  the  kind  of  people  they 
believed  themselves  to  belong  to :  it  was  a  country  of  heroes. 
The  poet  had  said  that  the  old  times  looked  beautiful  because  they 
were  far  off.  It  might  be  that  their  ancestors  were  not  as  great  as 
they  were  thought  to  be  ;  but  was  it  not  possible  that  they  of  the 


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190  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

present  day  were  better  than  they  thought  themselves  ?  But  there 
were  heroes  in  this  country,  and  they  need  not  go  very  far  back 
either  in  history  or  traditions  to  find  them.  They  fouud  people  in 
this  country  living  a  great  life  in  so  far  as  they  did  it  because  they 
looked  to  the  high  ideal  behind  them  and  wished  to  maintain  it  in 
their  own  time.  Coming  nearer  their  own  period,  they  knew  that 
during  the  last  great  war  in  Europe  this  country  rose  from  being 
an  Island  into  an  Empire.  By  our  own  right  hand  we  held  our 
own  against  the  whole  of  Europe.  There  were  many  brave  and 
great  men  then ;  and  he  thought,  considering  their  area,  the  High- 
lands occupied  the  greatest  prominence  in  the  number  of  great 
soldiers  and  great  statesmen  it  gave  the  country.  At  that  time, 
as  they  knew,  we  lost  a  great  part  of  our  Empire,  America — a  very 
thinly-populated  and  small  country  then — but  while  that  was  so, 
we  gained,  mainly  through  the  exertions  of  a  Highland  gentle- 
man, our  great  Indian  Empire.  He  referred  to  Charles  Grant, 
son  of  a  not  very  distinguished  family  in  Glen-Urquhart, 
who  rose  up  to  be  a  great  statesman,  and  a  benefactor 
of  his  country.  Coming  to  their  own  time,  the  question 
they  should  ask  themselves  was,  were  they  worthy  of  the  Past  ? 
Why  were  their  ancestors  heroes?  He  would  say  first  because 
they  felt  the  influence  and  associations  of  the  glorious  country  in 
which  they  lived.  Then  they  looked  always  to  a  high  ideal — it 
might  be  to  a  family,  a  chief,  a  clan,  but  still  it  was  something 
above  the  man  himself,  something  for  which  he  lived  above  his 
own  life,  and  for  which  he  was  willing  to  sacrifice  his  life  to  gain — 
not  those  material  concerns  upon  which,  he  was  afraid,  they  at  the 
present  day  placed  too  high  a  value.  That,  he  thought,  was  why 
the  people  of  old  called  themselves  heroes ;  and  it  was  only  by 
keeping  some  high  ideal  before  them  that  they  could  in  some 
degree  become  worthy  of  those  associations.  He  concluded  by 
giving  them  this  ancient  toast,  and  called  upon  the  company  to 
drink  it  with  Highland  honours. 

Provost  Macpherson,  Kingussie,  in  replying,,  said  that  he 
appreciated  very  highly  indeed  the  honour  of  being  asked  to 
respond  to  the  very  important  toast  so  eloquently  proposed  by 
Sir  Henry  Macandrew.  If  he  remembered  rightly,  this  was  the 
first  occasion  on  which  "Tir  nam  Beann  nan  Gleann  's  nan 
Gaisgeach"  had  been  proposed  afra  dinner  of  the  Society,  and  no 
more  appropriate  toast  could,  he  thought,  be  given  at  such  a 
gathering  of  Highlanders.  The  very  name  "Tir  nam  Beann" 
stirred  up  in  their  hearts  tender  and  bubdued  memories  of  bygone 
days,  and  recalled  many  of  the  most  pleasant  associations  of  their 


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Mr  Skene  versus  Or  Skene.  191 

lives.  Mr  Macpherson  delivered  a  lengthy  reply,  and  in  con- 
clusion he  expressed  the  hope  that  "  Tir  nam  Beann  "  would  in 
future  be  given  an  honourable  place  in  the  toast-list  of  the 
Society  dinners,  and  that  it  would  be  always  as  ably  proposed,  and 
as  heartily  received,  as  it  had  been  that  evening. 

A  number  of  other  toast6  were  proposed  and  heartily  responded 
to.  Gaelic  and  English  songs  were  sung,  and  the  Society's  piper, 
Pipe-Major  Ronald  Mackenzie,  played  appropriate  pipe  music 
at  the  dinner  and  between  the  toasts. 


28th  JANUARY,  1897. 

At  the  meeting  this  evening  Mr  R.  Paterson,  Town  Chamber- 
lain, Inverness,  and  Mr  H.  M.  Graham,  solicitor,  Inverness,  were 
elected  ordinary  members  of  the  Society.  Thereafter  Mr  A. 
Macbain,  M.A.,  read  a  paper  entitled  "  Mr  Skene  v.  Dr  Skene." 
The  paper  was  as  follows  : — 

MR  SKENE  VERSUS  DR  SKENE. 

My  reason  for  writing  a  paper  appealing  from  "  Skene  Young" 
to  "  Skene  Old"  is  due  to  the  fact  that  the  popular  historian  and 
the  clan  controversialist  prefer  Dr  Skene's  earlier  work  of  1837  to 
his  maturer  work  of  forty  years  later  on  "  Celtic  Scotland,"  or,  at 
any  rate,  quote  the  two  works  as  of  equal  value.  Hence  blunders 
about  "  maormors,"  cadet  "  toiseachs,"  and  the  Culdee  Church  are 
repeated,  and  the  authority  of  the  earlier  book  is  cited  to  bolster 
up  a  genealogy,  such  as  that  of  the  Macdonalds  as  against  the  Mao- 
ri ougalls,  while  the  later  work  has  quietly  corrected  the  errors  of 
the  first  book,  and  makes  the  Macdougalls,  for  instance,  the 
eldest  descendants  of  Somerled,  as  they  undoubtedly  are.  The 
reason  why  the  earlier  book  is  popular,  and  the  later  book  is  not, 
is  simple  enough  :  the  work  on  the  "  Highlanders"  is  a  youthful 
production,  full  of  the  cock-sureness  and  consequent  clearness  and 
easy  reading  characteristic  of  youth.  "  Celtic  Scotland"  is,  in  the 
words  of  the  poet,  "sicklied  o'er  with  the  pale  cast  of  thought;" 
it  is  a  learned,  laborious  work  in  three  portly  volumes,  with 
infinite  notes  and  references,  balanced  arguments,  and  con- 
structive theories  reasoned  out  before  the  reader's  eyes — a  difficult 
book  to  read,  and,  for  most  readers,  a  difficult  book  to  understand. 
It  deals  with  clan  origins  in  a  generalised  and  scientific  way, 


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192  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

whereas  the  early  book  treats  each  clan  by  itself,  and  gives  a 
short  sketch  of  the  leading  clans  to  the  number  of  about  thirty. 
Over  the  one  book  hangs  as  an  atmosphere  the  certainty  of  youth, 
over  the  other  the  hesitation  and  caution  of  age.  And  the  public 
naturally  prefer  the  former. 

A  more  serious  point  on  which  the  influence  of  Skene  has  been 
harmful  and  will  be  so  for  some  time  to  come  is  the  ethnology  of 
early  Scotland.  The  views  which  he  held  on  the  origin  and 
language  of  the  Picts  and  on  the  Scottic  conquest  of  843  were 
revolutionary  in  the  extreme  :  they  were  a  reversal  of  all  docu- 
mentary and  traditional  history,  and  the  only  other  historian 
before  him  who  maintained  similar  views,  and  who  in  fact  was 
the  originator  of  the  new  theories,  was  Pinkerton,  who  in  his 
"Enquiry  into  the  History  of  Scotland"  in  1789,  glorified  the 
Picts  and  depressed  the  Dalriads.  Skene  worked  out  his 
"  uniform  itarian"  theory  of  Scottish  ethnology  wherein  the  Picts 
are  proved  to  be  the  direct  ancestors,  genealogically  and  linguisti- 
cally, of  the  present-day  Highlanders :  there  was  no  change  in 
the  language  or  race  made  in  the  8th  and  9th  centuries  of  our  era 
in  Northern  Scotland,  as  the  former  historians  maintained.  This 
plausible  but  revolutionary  theory  has  completely  captivated  the 
popular  historians  and  other  writers  on  historic  subjects  in  Scotland. 
In  fact  they  do  not  seem  to  know  now  that  Skene's  views  are 
revolutionary.  Fordun  in  the  14th  century  formulated  the  old 
and  orthodox  view  of  Scottish  history  wherein  the  Scots  conquered 
the  Picts  and  imposed  their  language  on  Pictland  ; . Wyntoun 
put  the  same  history  into  Scottish  rhyme  ;  Boece  overlarded  it 
with  fables  and  fictions  ;  Buchanan  embalmed  it  in  Livian  Latin ; 
Father  Innes  in  1729  put  it  on  a  scientific  footing,  making  the 
Picts  simply  the  "  Painted"  Britons  and  kin  to  the  Cymry  in 
language ;  and  Chalmers  made  it  encyclopaedic  in  his  "Caledonia," 
adopting  Innes'  "  British"  view.  But  Pinkerton  and  Skene 
changed  all  that,  and  the  worst  of  it  is  that  the  general  reading 
and  intelligent  public  have  not  observed  that  these  two  authors 
have  revolutionised  early  Scottish  history.  For  instance,  the 
"  County  Histories"  now  in  course  of  publication  by  Blackwood 
have  one  and  all  hitherto  accepted  Skene's  views  as  a  matter  of 
course,  seemingly  never  having  any  idea  that  another  and  older 
view  existed.  And  yet  the  older  view  is  the  one  which  now  Celtic 
scholars  here  and  on  the  Continent  hold  with  more  or  less  modifi- 
cations. 

A  few  words  as  to  the  life-history  of  Dr  Skene  are  not  out  of 
place  in  considering  his  earlier  and  later  work.     William  Forbes 


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Mr  Skene  versus  Or  Skene.  193 

Skene  was  born  in  1809,  the  same  year  as  Gladstone  and  Tenny- 
son :  a  Highlander,  too,  by  birth,  which  took  place  at  Inverie  of 
Knoydart,  on  the  Glengarry  estates.  His  father  was  James 
Skene  of  Rubislaw,  near  Aberdeen,  Scott's  great  friend,  a  lawyer 
and  litterateur ;  his  mother  was  a  daughter  of  Sir  William  Forbes 
of  Pitsligo.  He  received  his  e arly  education  at  Edinburgh  High 
School,  and  even  at  this  early  stage  devoted  attention  to  Gaelic, 
which  was  all  the  easier,  as  he  was  connected  maternally  with  the 
Glengarry  family.  Besides,  he  was,  on  Scott's  suggestion,  boarded 
for  a  time  with  Dr  Mackintosh  Mackay  in  Laggan.  These  facts 
account  for  his  bias  in  after  days  towards  the  families  of  Cluny 
and  Glengarry  as  against  Mackintosh  and  Clanranald.  Tn  1824 
he  went  to  Germany  with  his  brother,  where  he  acquired  a  taste 
for  philology,  which,  however,  never  passed  the  amateur  stage. 
Thereafter  he  passed  a  session  at  St  Andrews,  then  served  his 
legal  apprenticeship  with  Sir  William  Jardine,  his  uncle,  and 
became  W.S.  in  1832.  He  practised  as  W.S.  for  forty  yearR,  and 
soon  after  passing  for  the  title  he  became  clerk  of  the  bills  in  the 
bill  chamber  of  the  Court  of  Session,  an  office  which  he  held  till 
1865.  During  the  later  portion  of  his  life  he  devoted  himself,  in 
the  comparative  freedom  which  he  attained  from  his  business  cares 
and  engagements,  to  putting  his  thoughts  and  researches  into 
Scoto-Celtic  history  into  shape,  and  "  Celtic  Scotland "  appeared 
in  1876-1880,  his  magnum  opus.  He  never  married;  he  took  a 
great  interest  in  religious  and  church  matters,  being  an  Episcopalian 
in  church  politics. 

His  first  book  was  the  "  Highlanders  of  Scotland,"  published 
in  1837.  It  was  a  youthful  essay,  written  for  the  Highland 
Society,  whose  prixe  it  won.  It  has  nothing  of  the  grasp  and 
accuracy  of  another  work  published  then  by  nearly  as  young  a 
man  as  himself — I  mean  Gregory's  "Western  Isles,"  a  book  which 
is  still  a  standard  authority,  while  Skene's  work  ought  to  be 
obsolete.  Skene's  next  considerable  work  was  the  Introduction 
to  the  Dean  of  Lismore's  Book  in  1862.  Here  he  maintained  the 
general  authenticity  of  Macpherson's  "  Ossian,"  and  in  so  doing 
attacked  the  early  history  of  the  Irish  annals,  drawing  a  line 
across  the  historic  page  at  483  a.d.,  the  date  of  the  Battle  of 
Ocha,  where  the  Hy  Neill  vindicated  their  claim  to  the  Irish  head 
kingship.  It  may  be  said  at  once,  to  use  a  well-known  phrase, 
that  it  would  surpass  the  wit  of  man  to  draw  any  sueh  line  with) 
any  regard  to  the  character  of  these  annals;  old  Tigernaoh  (a.Dv 
1088)  proposed  to  draw  such  a  line  at  Cimbaeth  in  305  bjq\,  with 
almost  equal  justice.     Where  fiction  and  artificial  chronology  end 

13 


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194  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

and  fact  and  correct  dates  begin  is  impossible  to  say  within  two 
or  three  hundred  years  or  more.  Nor  does  it  aftect  Macpherson's 
fictitious  and  factitious  history;  he  sins  against  the  literature  of 
the  race — the  history  embalmed  therein  and  never  departed  from 
before  or  after  Ocha ;  and  no  attack  on  the  genuineness  of  that 
history  can  get  over  the  fact  that  Macpherson's  history  is  made 
up  of  his  own  ignorance  and  invention.  In  1868  Skene  published  in 
two  volumes  "  The  Four  Ancient  Books  of  Wales,"  where  he 
displays  his  besetting  tendency  to  accept  documents  as  belonging 
to  the  time  at.  which  they  pretend  to  have  been  written,  though 
appearing,  as  in  this  case,  in  MSS.  six  hundred  years  later.  His 
"  Chronicles  of  the  Picts  and  Scots  "  is  a  valuable  work,  where  all 
the  MS.  materials  of  British  and  Irish  origin  bearing  on  the  history 
of  Scotland  anterior  to  Malcolm  Ceannmore  are  brought  together 
The  introduction  describes  the  material  and  its  sources,  and 
propounds  his  well-known  views  on  the  descent  of  the  Dalriadic 
monarchs.  He  edited  Fordun  for  the  "  Scottish  Historians " 
series,  and  also  Reeves's  "  Adamnan."  His  great  work  on  "  Celtic 
Scotland "  appeared  in  successive  volumes  in  1876-1880,  forty 
years  after  the  "Highlanders  of  Scotland."  Skene  was  made 
D.C.L.  in  1879,  and  succeeded  Burton  in  the  honorary  office  of 
histriographer  royal  for  Scotland  in  1881.  He  died  at  Edinburgh 
in  August,  1892. 

Skene's  genius  is  constructive,  not  critical ;  and  in  the  present 
state  of  our  historic  material  it  is  criticism  that  is  wanted,  His 
proneness  to  accept  the  professed  date  of  a  composition,  despite 
the  lateness  of  its  appearance  in  MS.,  is  fatal  in  Celtic  studies. 
His  glorification  of  the  Albanic  Duan  is  a  case  in  point :  it  pro- 
fesses to  be  composed  for  Malcolm  Ceannmore,  but  it  appears  only 
in  late  MSS.,  its  language  is  late  Middle  Irish,  and,  in  fact,  its 
composition  is  at  least  three  hundred  years  later  than  it  professes 
— a  poor  manufacture  of  the  14th  century  at  the  earliest.  Yet 
Skene  bases  his  great  theory  of  the  disappearance  of  the  Dalriadic 
kingdom  in  the  8th  and  early  9th  century  upon  it  and  Flann ; 
and  Flann,  too,  is  not  the  real  Flann  who  died  in  1056,  or  else  he 
is  able  to  record  events  for  73  years  after  his  own  death  !  The 
use  which  Flann's  continuator  makes  of  the  expression  "ri 
Alban"  is  the  cause  of  the  whole  confusion.  The  four  or  five  last 
kings  before  Kenneth  Mac  Alpin  whom  he  gives  were  kings  of 
Pictland,  not  of  Dalriada,  or  even  Alba ;  but  they  were  kings  in 
Alba  coeval  with  the  Irish  monarchs  whom  he  mentions.  Skene 
ought  to  have  remembered  that  the  Mormaers  of  Moray  are  called 
kings  of  Alban  when  Malcolm  Mac  Kenneth  was  really  the  king — 


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Mr  Skene  versus  Dr  Skene.  195 

Finlay  in  1020  and  his  nephew  Malcolm  in  1029.  In  fact,  Skeno 
himself  blundered  sadly  on  this  very  point  in  1837.  Against  all 
history  and  tradition  he  insisted  that  Malcolm,  Mormaer  of  Moray, 
was  king  of  Scotland  from  1004  to  1029,  simply  because  the 
Annals  of  Ulster  record  his  death  in  1029  as  ri  Alban:  So  Flann 
lias  to  be  reiki  critically,  and  the  Albanic  Duan  simply  puts 
Flann's  kings  down,  omitting  four,  with  dates  of  reigns,  which,  as 
vie  shall  see,  are  simply  absurd  for  the  first  part  of  the  9th 
century.  Dr  John  Mackintosh,'  author  of  the  "  History  of  Civili- 
sation in  Scotland,"  says  bluntly  but  truly  of  Skene  : — "  He  was 
very  industrious  and  painstaking ;  but  his  mind  was  narrow  and 
glimmering.  He  had  no  philosophic  grasp,  and  very  little  of  the 
•critical  faculty." 

For  the  questions  which  he  essayed  to  clear  up — the  early 
history  and  ethnology  of  Scotland — he  lacked  two  absolute 
•essentials :  he  knew  no  scientific  philology,  in  which  his  work  is 
no  great  advance  on  Chalmers ;  and  he  had  no  equipment  at  all 
in  anthropology,  so  that  he  was  quite  unable  to  appreciate  the 
profound  significance  of  the  Pictish  law  of  succession  or  heirship 
through  females.  He  made  no  use  of  archaeological  results :  he 
depended  entirely  on  literary  documents.  The  Celtic  language 
and  Celtic  culture  belong,  as  we  now  know,  to  the  wider  Indo- 
European  or  Aryan  area,  full  cousins  to  Latin,  Greek,  and 
Teutonic  early  civilisation.  This  itself  is  enlightening,  but  it 
does  not  enlighten  Skene's  pages,  who  seems  to  regard  the  Celticised 
Picts  as  aborigines,  and  whose  comparisons  of  their  early  customs 
.are  made,  though  daintily,  to  Kaffir  tribes  and  Indian  clans. 
Where  did  the  Celts  come  from,  and  who  inhabited  Britain  before 
them  ?  How  did  the  Scots  come  to  Ireland,  and  when  ?  We  look 
in  vain  for  an  answer  in  Skene.  True,  he  speaks  vaguely  of  an 
Iberian  foundation,  and,  in  1862,  he  maintained  that  the  Feinn 
were  the  ancient  inhabitants  of  Ireland,  Britain,  and  Lochlann 
(Denmark  and  Scandinavia),  and  in  Scotland  he  argued  that  these 
were  latterly  the  Cruthnigh  or  Picts.  These  Cruthnigh  he  saw 
•everywhere ;  he  filled  Ulster  with  them,  and  "  bagged"  for  them 
all  the  heroic  figures  of  Gaelic  myth  and  legend — Cuchulainn, 
Fionn,  and  the  rest 

The  Pictish  succession  he  regarded  in  his  earlier  work  as  a 
variation  of  the  ordinary  Celtic  or  Gaelic  tanist  law.  Among  the 
•Gael  a  son  did  not  necessarily  succeed  a  father :  if  the  son  were 
young,  or  anyways  incompetent,  he  did  not  succeed  ab  once,  and 
in  the  latter  case  not  at  all  The  tanistear,  or  next  heir,  suc- 
ceeded, or  an  election  was  held,  and  the  chief  or  king  appointed 


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196  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

from  the  male  meml>ers  of  the  royal  or  chief  family.  In  shorty 
succession  was  in  the  male  line  of  the  royal  or  chiefs  family,  but 
it  was  elective.  A  far  out  cousin  might  succeed,  though  it  rarely 
was  the  case.  This  is  far  from  being  the  Pictish  rule.  Their 
succession  was  through  the  females  :  a  prince  succeeded  to  the 
throne  because  his  mother  was  royal  through  her  ^mother.  His 
heir  was  either  his  brother,  by  the  mother's  side,  or  his  sister's 
son.  In  any  case,  the  right  of  succession  passed  to  his  sister, 
whose  son  was  the  real  heir.  Her  daughter  again  carried  on  the 
succession.  This  system  of  succession  prevailed  among  the  people 
as  well ;  all  property  descended  through  females.  Now,  what  is 
the  meaning  of  this  extraordinary  custom  ?  It  is  thoroughly  non- 
Celtic,  and  indeed  non-European  in  historic  times  otherwise. 
Such  succession,  however,  is  well  known  outside  Europe  among 
barbarian  and  savage  tribes.  The  explanation  given  by  many 
modern  scholars  is  that  the  Picts  were  a  non-Celtic  and  pre-Celtio 
race,  still  enduring  in  Scotland,  and  having  a  primitive  marriage 
system,  where  only  maternity  was  certain,  and  where  exogamy,  or 
marriage  outside  one's  clan  and  name,  prevailed.  This  theory  is 
no  doubt  correct,  save  on  one  point :  the  Pictish  language  in 
historic  times  was  Celtic,  for  the  Celts  had  evidently  conquered 
€a  pre- Celtic  tribe  and  imposed  their  language  on  it,  while  many  of 
the  customs — especially  the  marriage  customs — of  the  conquered 
race  were  allowed  to  survive.  Skene  is  satisfied  with  explaining 
the  custom  as  due  to  low  ideas  about  marriage,  and  he  therefore 
misses  the  ethnologic  significance  of  it.  In  his  early  work,  as  I 
have  said,  he  regards  the  custom  as  only  a  variety  of  the  ordinary 
Celtic  system  of  elective  male  succession ;  it  was  merely  a  rule 
that  the  son  of  a  former  king  could  not  occupy  the  throne  ! 

In  regard  to  Celtic  philology,  Skene  belonged  to  the  old 
popular  school.  He  knew  that  p  of  Welsh  interchanged  with 
Gaelic  c  at  times  ;  and  we  are  told  by  Bede  that  the  Koman  wall 
end  was  called  in  Pictish  Pean-fahel,  where  pean  is  the  Pictish  for 
"  head,"  cognate  with  Welsh  perm  and  Gaelic  ceann.  It  can  be 
shown  that  Pictish  possessed  the  letter  p  ;  old  Gaelic  had  no  such 
letter  initial  and  rarely  otherwise.  Skene,  therefore,  missed  the 
significance  of  pet  or  pit  as  a  place-name  prefix,  the  Gaelic  of 
which  is  really  cuid,  older  cuit.  Another  word  which  he  did  not 
appreciate  was  aber  or  ober,  a  confluence.  Such  is  its  meaning  in 
Welsh ;  but  old  Gaelic  abar  meant  a  "  marsh,"  as  it  did  in  the 
name  of  Loch-aber.  Minor  mistakes  in  phonetics  occur  :  in  the 
Clan  Chattan  genealogy  he  has  two  such.  First,  he  regards 
Cattan  as  standing  for  Cathan,  from  cath,  war ;  but  the  hard  t. 


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Mr  Skene  versus  Or  Skene.  197 

-could  never  become  th.  The  name  is  the  same  as  that  of  cat,  a 
cat.  Similarly  "  Donald  in  Caimgilla,"  Donald  the  One-eyed,  he 
thinks,  in  1837,  might  be  Donald  from  Cowal,  where  m  becomes 
v  ;  in  1880,  he  deduces  from  this  epithet  Quhele,  the  name  of  the 
mystical  Clan  Quhele !  M'Gillivray  he  regards  as  M'Gillebride  ; 
and  the  M'Nicols  he  takes  from  an  ancestor,  Krycul,  where  he 
shows  that  he  did  not  know  that  n  after  c  usually  becomes  r  ; 
Mac  Krycul  is  in  fact  Ma-cnicol.  In  regard  to  his  Ossianic  phil- 
ology, Dr  Whitley  Stokes  says  : — "  When  Mr  Skene  connects 
Adamnan's  Kegio  or  Mons  Cainle  with  the  man's  name  Ainle,  and 
the  river  name  Ness  with  the  man's  name  Naisi,  and  when  he 
invents  a  place-name  Arcardan  in  order  to  connect  it  with  Ardan, 
he  must  excuse  Celtic  and  indeed  all  other  scholars  from  declining 
to  follow  him." 

Skene  also  allows  himself  to  be  over-ridden  by  a  theory.  He 
discovered  in  1837  that  "captain"  was  a  title  borne  in  the  15th 
and  16th  centuries  by  certain  Highland  chiefs,  notably  Duncan 
Mackintosh,  captain  of  Clan  Chattan,  and  Allan  Cameron,  captain 
of  Clan  Cameron.  He  maintained  that  these  were  cases  where 
the  oldest  cadet  family  had  ousted  the  true  chief's  line ;  the 
Mackintoshes  ousted  the  Macphersons  from  the  lands  and  leader- 
ship of  Clan  Chattan,  -although  by  descent  both  belonged  to  the 
Macphyersons.  Similarly  the  Camerons  of  Lochiel  ousted  the 
4  Macmartins.  In  all  these  cases  there  is  also  a  myth  about  the 
usurping  family  marrying  the  heiress  of  the  old  line.  Hence  they 
were  "  captains,"  not  "  chiefs"  of  the  clans.  This  theory  in  a 
milder  form  obtains  a  place  in  "  Celtic  Scotland."  The  awkward 
fact  that  Sir  John  M'Farlane,  chief  of  his  clan  in  the  latter  part 
of  the  15th  century,  calls  himself  "  Capitaneus  de  Clan  Pharlane" 
is  explained  away  on  Skene's  favourite  method  of  "it  appears," 
which  latterly  develops  into  a  certainty,  "It  appears"  that 
M4Farlane  had  no  natural  right  to  the  title  of  chief  !  It  simply 
"appears"  so  because  Skene's  theory  demands  it.  There  is  no 
break  in  the  M'Farlane  genealogy,  and  to  hint  and  argue  so  is 
highly  unscientific,  if  really  honest  at  all.  Now,  the  truth  in  this 
matter  is  very  simple.  The  Celtic  clan  chief  was  in  proper  Gaelic 
called  t&iseach ;  this  we  know  from  Irish  sources  and  from  the 
Book  of  Deer.  The  regular  Latin  translation  of  this  was 
capitanus,  sometimes  fnrther  explained  as  capitanus  sive  praecipuns 
dux.  The  mediaeval  English  for  this  also  varied;  first  it  was 
simply  "captain,"  though  in  Ayrshire  the  Gaelic  title  of  cerih 
cineil,  "  Kenkennol,"  Major's  caput  progenei  (Gaelic  ceann-cinne), 
appears  in  the  14th  century.     Thereafter  it  was  "  captain,  chief 


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198  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

and  principal  man,"  and,  in  the  1587  Act,  we  have  the  roll  of 
clans  who  "  hes  capitanes,  cheiffs,  and  chiftanes  whome  on  they 
depend."  The  fact  is,  the  word  "  chief"  meant  the  "  head,"  and 
meant  no  more  a  Highland  chief  than  the  corresponding  French 
chef  then  meant  "cook."  Both  are  historic  developments ;  the  word 
"chief"  itself  has  a  life  history  which  must  be  studied  ere  an 
argument  can  be  built  on  it.  About  the  first  use  of  the  term 
"  clan"  borrowed  into  English  was  its  application  to  Clan  Chattan 
and  the  North  Inch  of  Perth — certainly  its  first  literary  appear- 
ance, though  it  occurs  once  or  twice  in  charters  before  that. 
What  led  Skene  astray  was  the  fact  that  captain  meant  more 
than  chief  in  the  16th  century;  it  was  applied  to  the  leader  of 
the  clan  when  the  chief  was  a  minor  or  an  incapable.  Skene 
concluded  rashly  that  this  was  always  its  meaning,  and  hence 
tried  to  bolster  up  his  theories  about  Clan  Chattan  by  antedating 
the  16th  century  extended  use  of  "captain." 

His  views  about  the  Picts  differ  slightly  between  1837  and 
1876  :  the  Midland  Picts  (of  Atholl)  disappear  by  1876,  for  these 
were  Picts  settled  in  Meath,  as  later  knowledge  disclosed.  The 
Southern  Picts  have  more  prominence  in  1837,  and  he  regards 
them  as  the  Piccardaich  of  the  Annals,  incorrectly  of  course  ;  but 
in  one  point  the  1837  book  is  better  than  "Celtic  Scotland."  It 
allows  that  the  Dalriads  conquered  the  Southern  Picts  in  843  ; 
that,  in  fact,  was  the  Scottic  Conquest.  The  Northern  Picts  were 
unaffected  by  this  conquest,  went  on  speaking  their  native  Gaelic, 
and  became  the  ancestors  of  the  modern  Highlanders.  The 
Southern  Picts  were  linguistically  different  also  in  1837,  for  Bede 
says  the  Pictish  was  a  language,  one  of  five,  and  Skene  restricts 
the  application  of  this  to  Southern  Pictland.  The  philologic 
mistake  of  calling  the  Northern  Picts  Cruithen-tuath  is  also  made 
(vol.  I.,  p.  63),  an  expression  which  means  "  Pictish-nation :"  this 
mistake  was  of  course  duly  repeated  in  the  late  history  of  Inver- 
ness County.  "  Celtic  Scotland"  knows  of  no  Scottic  Conquest  of 
843  in  Southern  Pictland  :  it  has  much  to  say  of  a  Pictish  con- 
quest of  a  hundred  years  earlier  in  Dalriada ;  a  change  of  dynasty 
was  all  that  occurred  in  843,  and  a  change  in  the  law  of  sucession 
— so  we  have  it  in  "  Celtic  Scotland." 

The  history  of  the  period  from  843  to  1 057  is  in  the  1837  work 
ostentatiously  taken  from  new  sources — Norse  Sagas  chronologised 
by  Irish  Annals.  And  the  result  is  really  wonderful.  It  is  a 
small  detail  that  he  insists  on  two  Kings  Malcolm  from  1004  to 
1034,  one  of  whom  dies  in  1029.  He  discovered  later  that  this 
was  only  the  mormaer  of  Moray,  dignified  by  the  Annals  into  the 


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Mr  Skene  versus  Or  Skene. 


199 


"  King  of  ilba,"  just  like  his  predecessor  Finlay,  who  died  in  1020 
as  "  King  of  Alba"  (Book  of  Leicester  Annals).  The  exaggerations 
and  confusions  of  the  Sagas  are  taken  seriously,  and  the  history 
of  Northern  Scotland  is  re-written  from  them.  "  Celtic  Scotland" 
accepts  the  native  annals,  which  are  really  older,  more  authentic, 
and  more  local  to  the  events  than  the  Sagas.  The  result  is 
accuracy,  and  a  good  full  account  of  events  from  the  Scottic 
Conquest  to  the  death  of  Macbeth.  He  acknowledges  his  earlier 
error  about  the  Kings  Malcolm  in  "  Celtic  Scotland,"  I.,  p.  400. 

His  defence  of  Macpherson's  "  Ossian"  in  1837  is  different  from 
that  of  1862,  and  there  is  no  mention  of  the  Fingalian  heroes  in 
"Celtic  Scotland."  He  proves  to  his  own  satisfaction,  in  1837, 
that  Macpherson  agrees  with  the  old  Irish  Annals  ;  he  knows 
better  in  1862,  and  consequently  abuses  old  Irish  chronology  as 
artificial.  What  Macpherson  really  did  was  to  adopt  the  Irish 
kings'  names  which  he  found  in  the  ballads  and  in  Toland's 
"  Druids,"  and  make  a  kingly  system  of  his  own.  He  had  not 
read  either  Keating  or  Flaherty,  though  both  books  were  pub- 
lished before  his  "Fingal"  (1762).  His  errors  were  pointed  ^out 
at  once,  and  he  attempts  to  correct  them  in  "  Temora"  (1763). 
Skene  compares  his  kings'  list  with  that  of  the  Annals  : — 


Irish  System. 
Conn,  K.  of  Temora 

i 

Art 

I 
Cormac 

I 

Cairpre 


Macpherson  and 

Skene. 

Conar,  a  Gael 

from  Alba 

I 
Art 


Cormac,  killed  by 
Cairpre 


Macpherson^ 
final  list. 
Conar 

I 

Cormac 

I 
Cairbie 

i 

Artho 

I 

Cormac 


I  add  Maepherson's  final  and  real  list  as  a  third  column.  Such 
is  Maepherson's  agreement  with  the  Irish  Annals  !  And  Skene 
adds  that  Tigernach,  the  annalist,  does  not  mention  Cairbre's 
father ;  so  he  may  have  been  of  the  For  Bolgs,  as  Macpherson  has 
it!  No  such  nonsense  appears  in  1862.  There,  however,  he 
identifies  the  Feinn  with  the  early  Picts,  and  finds  them  also  in 
Denmark  and  Norway,  in  Britain  and  in  Ireland.  That  he 
changed  his  view  on  the  whole  subject  is  clear  from  the  significant 
silence  of  "  Celtic  Scotland." 


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200  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

The  1837  work  unfortunately  has  the  old  account  of  the  Celtic 
Church,  where  of  course  it  became  the  Culdee  Church,  and  he 
regarded  it  then  as  episcopal.  Within  the  last  two  years  histories 
have  appeared  where  these  earlier  views  are  repeated.  Yet  the 
second  volume  of  "  Celtic  Scotland"  is  entirely  devoted  to  the 
Celtic  Church,  and  it  is  an  excellent  account  of  it,  under  the 
guidance  of  Bishop  Reeves.  There  the  Culdees  are  shown  to  be 
anchorites  of  the  ninth  century  or  thereabouts,  gradually  becoming 
amalgamated  into  collegiate  bodies,  somewhat  after  the  fashion  of 
the  canons  of  the  Continental  Church.  There  was  never  a  Culdee 
Church.  The  early  Celtic  Church  was  monastic  purely — tribal 
monasteries,  with  a  presbyter  or  priest  abbot,  and  a  bishop  or  two 
kept  on  the  premises  for  the  sake  of  ordination.  In  doctrine  it 
nothing  differed  from  Rome,  and  in  ritual  it  differed  little,  and 
that  only  because  it  grew  old-fashioned  when  the  Anglo-Saxons 
cut  Ireland  and  the  Cymry  off  from  the  Continent  in  the  sixth 
century. 

The  account  given  in  1837  of  old  Celtic  polity  is  obsolete.  I 
have  already  remarked  on  the  errors  in  regard  to  Celtic  and 
Pictish  succession.  The  title  of  mdrmaer  is  written  maormdr,  an 
error  which  persists  in  nearly  every  work  thereafter,  except 
"Celtic  Scotland."  The  mdr  or  "great"  comes  first:  it  practi- 
cally meant  "  earl,"  and  was  translated  by  the  Norse  jarl ;  but 
even  to  the  last  Skene  does  not  seem  to  have  noticed  that  it  still 
persists  in  the  general  Gaelic  title  of  moirear,  which  translates 
"lord."  He  blundered  also  in  regard  to  the  next  rank  to  the 
mormatr :  this  was  the  toiseach  or  clan  chief.  Skene  made  him, 
in  1837,  the  head  of  the  eldest  cadet  family  of  a  clan,  who,  on 
occasions,  might  be  "captain"  of  the  clan.  The  title  is  now 
obsolete.  Skene's  early  errors  on  these  points  were  also  lately 
reproduced  in  Highland  clan  histories.  Another  title  over  which 
he  stumbled  in  1837  is  the  imaginary  one  of  abthane.  Fordun 
spoke  of  Abthane  Crinan,  and  historians  have  reproduced  the  error 
ever  since  till  Skene  put  it  right  in  "  Celtic  Scotland."  The  title 
is  a  popular  derivative  from  abthania  or  older  Gaelic  apdaine, 
"  abbey-lands,"  which  of  course  is  derived  from  the  title  abbat. 
The  Appins  of  modern  Gaelic  topography  attest  to  its  old  pre- 
valence and  meaning.  There  never  was  an  "abthane;"  the  title 
was  that  of  "  abbot."  The  old  ideas  about  it  will  be  found  in 
"  Highlanders,"  vol.  2,  pp.  129-132;  the  corrected  ideas  are  best 
given  in  the  second  volume  of  "  Celtic  Scotland." 

In  a  note  at  page  365  of  Vol.  Three  of  "Celtic  Scotland," 
Skene  says  : — "In  the  main  the  author  has  seen  little  reason  to 


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Mr  Skene  versus  Dr  Skene.  201 

alter  the  distribution  of  the  clans  in  an  earlier  work,  The  High- 
landers of  Scotland,  published  in  1837,  to  which  the  reader  is 
referred  for  their  detailed  history."  The  earlier  work  is  more 
systematic  and  definite ;  the  later  work  is  more  scientific, 
inasmuch  as  it  avoids  the  excessive  and,  at  times,  inaccurate 
classifying  of  the  1837  book.  The  Gallgaidheal  or  Norse-Gaels 
occupy  a  promieut  place  in  the  early  book,  spreading  over  Western 
Scotland  and  Gallowav,  including  the  diocese  of  Dunkeld ;  and 
they  were  Picts  also !  Picts  and  Norse  mixed.  The  Gall- 
gaidheal actually  were  the  Norse-ruled,  Norse-mixed,  and  probably 
paganised  inhabitants  of  Man,  Galloway,  Arran,  Bute,  Kintyre, 
and  the  Argyle  seaboard — the  outer  isles  being  purely  Norse,  and 
known  as  Innse  Gall  or  Isles  of  the  Foreigners.  The  great  Mac- 
donald  clan  sprang  from  the  Gall-gaidheal,  as  Skene  says.  Their 
seat  was  Lorn — the  Norse  Dali  or  "  Dales,"  where  the  Orkney 
Saga  places  King  Somerled ;  and  under  that  chieftain  they 
acquired  the  rule  of  the  northern  half  of  the  Gall-gaidheal  from 
the  King  of  Man  and  the  Isles,  who,  however,  retained  Man  and 
the  Hebrides  (Skye  and  the  Long  Island),  and  was  the  original 
44  Ri  Finn-ghall,"  or  King  of  the  Hebridean  Norse,  proudly 
claimed  by  the  Macdonald  chiefs.  The  Lordship  of  Garmoran 
also  discreetly  takes  up  small  space  in  "Celtic  Scotland,"  for 
therein  the  clans  are  treated  by  their  separate  localities,  little  or 
no  grouping  being  attempted. 

The  Macdonald  history  is  weak  and  confused  in  the  1837 
work ;  in  "  Celtic  Scotland"  it  is  clear  and  accurate,  thanks  to 
Gregory's  "Western  Isles,"  which  is  duly  acknowledged.  Somer- 
led's  grandson  Somerled,  who  succeeds  him  in  1 837,  is  not  found 
in  the  1880  work  :  Dugall,  the  eldest  son,  there  succeeds  his 
father  in  the  cradle  of  the  race  in  north  Argyle  ;  Reginald  succeeds 
in  Kintyre  and  the  Isles,  and  the  third  son  somewhere  northwards, 
the  latter  and  his  family  being  finally  obliterated  by  Reginald  and 
his  sons.  This  is  no  doubt  correct.  Another  great  improvement 
n  the  Macdonald  and  Macdougall  genealogy  also  takes  place  in 
1880.  The  earlier  book  maintained  that  the  Macdougalls  of  Lorn 
were  descended  from  Dugall,  son  of  Reginald,  not  Dugall,  eldest 
son  of  Somerled,  which  deprived  that  clan  of  being  the  eldest 
representatives  of  the  race  of  Somerled — the  real  u  Clann 
Somairli,"  as  the  Book  of  Lecan  truly  calls  them.  Skene  was  led 
astray  by  the  MS.  of  1450,  which,  as  well  as  its  guide  the  Book 
of  Ballimote,  curiously  makes  Dugall  second  son  of  Reginald,  son 
of  Somerled.  The  Book  of  Lecan,  which  is  equal  in  age  with  the 
•other,  gives  the  correct  genealogy  and  the  most  accurate  naming 


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202  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

of  the  Clan  Macdougall  in  calling  them  clan  Somerled.  "  Celtic* 
Scotland"  more  than  once  records  the  facts,  but  never  hints  at  the 
grave  error  of  1837,  which  has  lately  found  a  place  in  the  history 
of  Clan  Donald.  To  clinch  the  argument,  the  earlier  book  main- 
tains that  King  Ewin  of  Argyle,  undoubtedly  descended  from 
Dugall,  son  of  Somerled,  diod  without  male  heir,  Alexander  of 
Argyle  being  not  his  son,  but  a  descendant  of  Dugall  Mac 
Reginald.  "  This,"  he  adds,  "  is  confirmed  by  the  chartuiary  of 
Cupar,  for  the  manuscript  [1450]  makes  Alexander  de  Ergadia, 
the  son  of  Dnncan,  son  of  Dugall,  son  of  Reginald ;  and  in  that 
chartuiary  Duncanns  de  Lornyn  witnesses  a  charter  of  the  Earl  of 
Atholl  of  the  lands  of  Dumfallandy,  dated  certainly  between  1258 
and  1270,  while  during  that  period  Ewen  was  in  possession  of  the 
lands  of  this  branch  of  the  family."  So  specious  is  this  argument 
that  Mr  A.  Brown,  in  his  "  Memorials  of  Argyle,"  says  that  the 
Cupar  Chartuiary  gives  Alexander's  genealogy  as  above  (son  of 
Duncan,  <fec.)  Alas,  the  Duncan  de  Lornyn  in  the  Cupar  charter 
was  no  Argyle  magnate  :  he  was  laird  of  Lornie,  near  Perth  ! 

It  goes  without  saying  that  in  1837  Skene  regarded  the  Glen- 
garry family  as  the  senior  and  premier  family  of  the  Clan  Donald 
— iu  short,  Glengarry  was  chief  of  the  Macdonalds.  Ranald,  son 
of  John  of  Isle,  was  the  common  ancestor  of  Clanranald  and 
Glengarry,  and  he  or  his  family  got  or  acquired  the  lordship  of 
Garmoran,  with  its  seat  of  Castle-Tiriru,  his  mother  having  been 
heiress  thereof.  Skene  and  Gregory  make  him  the  youngest  son 
of  Amy  M'Rory  and  John  of  Isle  ;  but  M'Vurich,  with  more  proba- 
bility, ranks  him  first,  and,  besides,  shows  that  he  was  steward  of 
the  Isles  under  his  aged  father,  and  tutor  of  his  half-brother 
Donald,  to  whom  he  handed  over  his  patrimony  honourably,  though 
the  men  of  the  Isles  wanted  him  to  continue  himself  as  chief. 
Anyway,  from  his  sons,  AJlan  and  Donald,  were  descended  the  rival 
houses  of  Clanranald  and  Glengarry.  Skene  regarded  Donald  as- 
eldest,  and  proves  it  by  asseverating  that  this  was  no  other  than 
the  Donald  Balloch  who  led  the  clan  at  Inverlochy  in  1431  L 
"  Celtic  Scotland  "  knows  better  than  this.  M'Vurich  represents 
Donald,  ancestor  of  Glengarry,  as  dying  in  1420,  which  is  likely 
correct,  eleven  years  before  Inverlochy.  Besides,  we  know  well 
the  life-history  of  Donald  Balloch.  The  tradition  and  historic  fact 
are  that  Allan  was  eldest  son  of  Ranald ;  he  had,  besides,  the 
cradle  estates  of  the  M'Rorys,  always  a  proof  of  primogeniture. 

In  fact,  Skene  was  unlucky  in  his  choice  of  sides  in  a  clan 
controversy  ;  he  was  swayed  by  his  feelings,  and  by  what  ought  to 
have  been,  but  unfortunately  was  net.     The  Macneills  of  Barra,  no 


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Mr  Skene  versus  Or  Skene.  203 

doubt,  ought  to  have  been  and  to  be  chiefs  of  the  clan,  but  in  1530 
we  find  that  Torkil  Macneill  of  the  Gigha  family  is  addressed  by 
the  Crown  as  "  chief  and  principal "  of  the  name.  Skene  was  all 
for  the  Barra  family.  He  is  on  the  Duart  side  in  the  case  of  the 
Macleans,  where,  no  doubt,  he  is  right  as  to  the  seniority  of  the 

two  brothers  whence  Duart  and  Lochbuie  are  descended,  but 1 

As  regards  the  Macleods  of  Dunvegan  and  Lewis,  Skene's  first 
mistake  is  to  regard  them  as  mainland  clans  at  all ;  but  he  finds 
them  first  mentioned  in  connection  with  Glenelg  and  Assynt 
respectively  in  1343,  and  concludes  that  they  belonged  to  his 
great  Garmoran  lordship  lot.  Here  tradition  and  geography  agree 
admirably  with  philology.  The  Macleod  names  are  exclusively 
Norse.  Tradition  connects  them  first  with  Lewis  and  Harris  as 
their  cradle,  and  the  Norsemen  as  their  ancestors,  while  historic 
geography  demands  that  Lewis  is  their  place  of  origin  and  spread. 
If  so,  the  Macleods  of  Lewis,  as  the  older  writers  held,  such  as  the 
Mackenzie  historians  and  Buchanan  of  Aucbmar,  were  the  eldest 
cadets  as  having  the  family  "  nest."  Skene,  however,  says  there 
is  no  "  vestige  of  authority  "  for  the  Macleods  being  Norse  :  if  by 
authority  he  means  charters  and  contemporary  documents,  he  is 
right ;  otherwise,  he  is  wrong,  for  there  is  plenty  room  for  scientific 
inference.  Of  course  he  decides  for  the  Dunvegan  Macleods  as 
being  the  elder  branch  :  they  should  be  so,  on  the  principle  of  the 
survival  of  the  fittest,  which  seems  to  have  swayed  Skene  here. 
Gregory  refuses  to  decide  the  case  ;  Skene,  "  Old,"  has  no  word  on 
the  subject,  though  he  is  still  for  the  Celtic  descent  of  the  clan. 

Wrong  or  nearly  so  in  the  case  of  Macdonalds  v.  Macdougalls, 
Clanranald  v.  Glengarry,  Macneills  of  Barra  against  those  of 
Gigha,  the  Lewis  Macleods  v.  those  of  Dunvegan,  his  champion 
perversity  appears  in  the  case  of  the  Clan  Chattan.  Even  in  his 
"  Celtic  Scotland"  he  shows  a  sad  lack  of  critical  insight — 
especially  in  the  "Captain"  argument  already  referred  to — 
together  with  a  lack  of  knowledge  of  the  history  and  rise  of  the 
Mid-Highland  clans.  The  poor  genealogies  of  MS.  1450  have  to 
suffer  much  overhauling.  Skene  manages  to  connect  the  second 
genealogy  of  the  Clan  Chattan  given  in  the  MS.  with  the  family 
of  the  Mormaers  of  Moray  through  Head,  son  of  Nectan  (circ. 
1100),  whence  the  Mac-heths,  the  possessors  of,  and  claimants  to, 
the  earlship  of  Moray  and  even  the  throne  of  Scotland.  In  the 
MS.  the  name  is  Tead,  which  Skene  regards  as  the  later  name 
Shaw.  His  son  Sween  is  father  of  Muirech,  the  parson,  whence 
Mac "  pherson"  and  M'Vurich,  circ.  1173,  whose  son  the 
"  Camgilla"  gives  his  name,  even  in   "  Celtic  Scotland,"  to  Clan 


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204  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness 

Quhele!  The  genealogy  in  1837*  offered  to  the  Macphersons  is 
very  unlike  the  one  they  believe  in  themselves ;  but  neither  in 
1837  nor  in  1880  does  Skene  trouble  himself  with  the  genealogy 
given  by  the  17th  century  seanachies  for  the  Macphersons :  here, 
and  elsewhere,  he  is  above  that  sort  of  thing,  if  his  theory 
demands  it.  In  "  Celtic  Scotland"  this  genealogy  is  mercifully 
assigned  to  the  "old"  Mackintoshes,  and  the  other  is  assigned 
to  the  present  Rothiemurchus  and  Moyhall  lot.  The  Mac- 
phersons get  recompensed  by  being  referred  to  Duncan  Persoun 
(1438),  a  fellow-prisoner  with  the  Earl  of  Ross  in  Tantallon  Castle  ! 
Their  further  connection  with  Clan  Chattan  he  shows  to  be  that 
one  of  the  "  old  "  Mackintoshes  or  Shaws  of  Dalnavert  married  a 
daughter  of  Kenneth  Mac-vuireach — the  same  Muireach  as  the 
"  old"  Shaw  himself  is  descended  directly  from  ! — who  is  Fordun's 
leader  of  two  thousand  in  1427,  viz.,  Kenneth  More.  If  Skene 
thinks  this  Kenneth  More  was  ancestor  of  Cluny,  and  had  two 
thousand  men  in  1427,  he  has  much  misread  Highland  history. 
In  1837  Kenneth  More  was  the  ancestor  of  the  Mackenzies,  also  a 
guess,  but  possibly  not  far  wrong.  Kenneth  More's  son  is 
Duncan  Persoun,  who  is  in  gaol  with  the  Earl  of  Ross  in  1438. 
Both  Duncan  and  Kenneth  are  in  the  Macpherson  genealogies ; 
but  that  Duncan  Persoun  had  any  connection  with  Kenneth  More 
is  highly  improbable.  The  whole  thing  is  unscientific  guesswork. 
In  1837,  the  combatants  at  the  North  Inch  in  1396  were 
Mackintoshes  and  Macphersons,  the  former  Clan  Quhele,  the  latter 
Clan  Ha  or  Heth.  In  1880  the  combatants  come  to  be  the 
Mackintoshes  and  Camerons,  the  former  Clan  Quhele  (Clann  a* 
Cham-gille ! ! !)  and  the  latter  Clan  Ha,  that  is,  Clann  Mhaol-an- 
fhaidh,  from  Maol-an-fhaidh,  Prophet's  Servant,  which  he  thinks 
might  be  curtailed  to  Clann-an-fhaidh.  The  name  Maol-an-fhaidh 
was  a  Cameron  one,  and  the  M'Gillonies  or  M'Lonvies  were  there- 
from, but  it  can  hardly  be  the  origin  of  Clan  Ha,  simply  because 
the  true  name  is  Mael-anfaid,  "servant  of  storm,"  with  the 
accent  on  the  an  of  an/aid,  not  on  /aid.  How  Skene 
exactly  stands  in  regard  to  genealogy  when  he  has  married  Shaw- 
Mackintosh  M'Vurich,  descended  of  the  "  Cam-gilla,"  and  direct 
representative  of  the  "Old"  Mackintoshes,  to  the  daughter  of 
Kenneth  More  M'Vurich,  seeming  chief  of  the  "  Old"  Clan  Chattan, 
and  descendant  also  directly  of  M  uirech  the  Parson,  I  cannot  tell ; 
it  is  a  pretty  bungle.  All  he  says  about  the  chiefship  in  1880  is 
in  a  note  on  page  329  :  "  The  Clan  Vuireach  or  Old  Clan  Chattan 
seldom  recognised  the  authority  of  the  Captain  " — Mackintosh,  to 
wit. 


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Mr  Skene  versus  Or  Skene.  205 

As  the  matter  is  of  the  highest  importance  for  the  early  history 
of  Northern  Scotland,  I  will  in  conclusion  endeavour  to  give  what 
appears  to  be  the  real  history,  checked  by  native  and  Irish 
chronicles,  of 

The  Scottic  Conquest  op  843. 

When  Bede  closes  his  history  in  731,  he  tells  us  that  the  four 
nations  inhabiting  Scotland  are  then  at  peace.  The  Picts  have  a 
treaty  of  peace  with  the  Angles ;  the  Scots,  satisfied  with  their 
own  territories,  neither  plot  nor  combine  against  the  Angles  ;  and 
the  Britons  throughout  Scotland  and  England  are  helpless.  But 
scarce  a  year  had  passed  since  the  nations  of  the  Picts  and  Scots 
had  each  passed  through  the  stress  of  civil  war  and  interna- 
tional fight.  In  Dalriada  the  Cinel  Gabran  had  rightfully  the 
supremacy  of  Dalriada  as  descended  from  the  elder  son  of  Ere ; 
but  the  Cinel  Lorn  asserted  claims  to  the  kingship,  and  made 
them  good,  thus  making  Dalriada  a  miniature  Ireland,  where 
kings  were  elected  alternately — or,  it  should  be,  alternately — from 
the  Northern  and  Southern  O'Neills.  The  Cinel  Gabran  ruled 
from  503  to  675,  seemingly  without  interruption;  but  in  675 
Ferchar  Fada,  of  the  Bouse  of  Lorn,  became  King  of  Dalriada, 
doubtless  not  by  election,  but  by  the  sword.  Adamnan  (circ. 
700)  records  the  low  ebb  of  Cinel  Cabran,  which  Columba  had 
prophesied  Ferchar  died  in  697,  and  his  two  sons  succeeded 
him,  Selbach,  the  latter  son,  being  king  "off  and  on"  for  some  25 
years,  and  a  powerful  king,  too.  Curiously  enough,  he  is  noticed 
as  king  in  Flann's  "  Synchronisms"  (12th  century)  only.  In  725 
his  son  Dungal  was  ejected  from  his  throne,  and  the  rival  house 
ruled  in  the  person  of  Eochaidh,  son  of  Eochaidh,  who  managed  to 
keep  his  position,  though  old  King  Selbach  left  his  monastery  to 
oust  him.     Eochaidh  died  as  "  Ri  Dalriada"  in  732. 

In  Pictland  we  know  nothing  of  the  striving  dynasties ;  we 
know  only  the  kings'  names,  and  the  districts  they  represented 
more  or  less.  Nectan  MacDerili,  famed  in  the  pages  of  Bede  as 
the  first  Pictish  king  that  conformed  to  Rome,  had  left  the 
monastery  to  which  he  had  retired,  and  in  727  joined  in  the  civil 
fray  to  oppose  the  formidable  King  of  Fortrenn,  Angus  MacFergus. 
Angus  had  already,  in  two  battles  that  year,  completely  over- 
thrown Alpin,  King  of  the  Picts,  who  himself  was  a  usurper,  for  he 
had  previously  expelled  King  Drust,  Nectan's  enemy  (725). 
Nectan  and  Angus  met  at  ths  Lake  of  Lochy,  possibly  at  the  upper 
end  of  Loch  Tay,  and  Nectan  was  defeated.  King  Drust  then 
resumed  his  throne ;  him,  too,  Angus  encounjtered  and  slew  in  728. 


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206  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

The  loss  of  a  fleet  of  150  Pictish  ships  is  recorded,  evidently 
foundered  in  a  storm.  To  add  to  the  confusion,  the  men  of 
Dalriada  intervened  in  the  proceedings,  and  the  Picts  were  con- 
quered by  them  at  Murbulg  in  730.  The  last  fight  in  the  Pictish 
Civil  War  was  in  the  same  year  between  Brude,  son  of  Angus,  and 
Talorgan  MacCongus,  no  doubt  representing  the  Northern  Picts, 
who  was  defeated,  but  escaped. 

We  may  pause  here  to  consider  the  extent  of  territories  denoted 
by  Pictland  and  Dalriada  respectively.  The  Pbts  were  mainly 
divided  into  two  districts,  one  of  which  had  for  its  minimum  area 
the  district  of  Fortrenn  (Fife,  Kinross,  and  Clackmannan), 
but  which,  at  its  best,  extended  from  the  Forth  and  Roman  Wall 
along  the  East  Coast  to  Aberdeen,  Magh-Chircinn,  or  Mearns, 
forming  the  part  most  important  of  it  next  to  Fortrenn.  It 
included  also  eastern  Perthshire.  In  the  third  century  classical 
writers  called  the  people  Maeatae  ;  in  the  fourth,  Vecturiones, 
which  has  been  happily  corrected  by  Professor  Rhys  into  Vertu- 
riones,  or  Men  of  Fortrenn  ;  and  Adamnan,  no  doubt,  refers  to 
the  district  in  speaking  of  the  Miathi.  Bede  calls  them  practically 
Cismontane  Picts,  as  opposed  to  the  Northern  Picts,  those  beyond 
the  Grampians.  In  the  third  and  fourth  centuries  the  second 
nation  of  Picts  dwelling  in  western  Perth — Athole — and  the  North 
are  called  Caledonians.  The  Dve-Caledonii,  or  Bi-Caledonians, 
of  Ptolemy,  may  have  meant  that  the  tribe  was  separated  into  two 
by  the  Grampians. 

The  extent  of  the  Scottic  power  is  a  more  difficult  matter  to 
determine.  We  must  banish  from  our  minds  the  notion  that  the 
Dalriadic  colony  of  503,  under  the  sons  of  Ere,  was  the  first  Gaelic 
invasion  of  Scotland.  Conquests  were  made  in  the  third  century 
along  the  whole  coast  of  Britain,  settlements  being  even  made  in 
Wales,  though  under  Roman  dominion.  In  the  fourth  and  fifth 
centuries  the  Scots  and  Picts  were  allied  in  harassing  the  Roman 
province ;  and  it  is  then  that  the  Gaelic  settlements  in  Wales 
mostly  took  plase.  We  may  legitimately  infer  that  the  Isles  and 
portions  of  the  western  mainland  of  Scotland  were  then  taken  by 
the  Scots.  Argyle,  or  Oirir-Ghaidheal,  "Coast  of  the  Gael," 
extended  from  Kintyre  to  Lochbroom,  as  ancient  charters  attest ; 
but  Dalriada  was  confined  to  Argyle.  Aedan,  son  of  Gabran 
{573-605),  annexed  part  of  Perthshire,  and  his  sons  fell  in  battle 
in  the  Mearns  (Circinn,  Adamnan's  Miathi).  They  appear  to  have 
possessed  or  claimed  most  of  Dumbarton,  Menteith,  and  Strath- 
earn.  How  much  the  Gaelic  Scots  pressed  on  the  Picts  in  the  far 
north  it  is  impossible  to  say;    but  the   earlier  colonies  were 


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Mr  Skene  versus  Dr  Skene.  207 

evidently  more  northerly,  and  made  to  move  northward  by  the 
Dalriads ;  and  their  dialect  is  still  remembered  in  the  northern 
dialect  of  Gaelic  as  opposed  to  the  southern — the  dialect  of 
Dalriada  and  its  conquered  province  of  Perth. 

Muredach,  grandson  of  Ferchar  Fada,  assumed  the  Chiefship 
of  Lorn  in  732,  and  seemingly  also  the  Kingship  of  Dalriada,  as 
be  is  named  in  the  Kings'  list.  But  Dnngal,  son  of  Selbach,  was 
active.  In  the  same  year  a  Scottish  fleet  was  sent  to  help  the 
Irish  King,  and  seemingly  Brude,  the  Pictish  King's  son,  either 
joined,  or  was  on  the  sea.  Anyway  Dungal  dragged  him  from 
sanctuary  in  Tory  Isle ;  war  in  any  case  ensued ;  a  battle  was 
fought  at  Callender  between  Dalriada  and  Fortrenn,  where 
Talorgan,  son  of  Fergus,  put  to  flight  another  grandson  of  Ferchar 
Fada.  Angus  in  person  invaded  the  district  of  Dalriada,  took 
Dunadd,  burnt  Creic  (?),  and  captured  Dungal  and  his  brother, 
wasting  the  country  as  well.     The  date  of  this  event  is  735. 

Angus  was  a  "sanguinary  tyrant,"  as  an  English  chronicle  has 
it ;  and,  as  a  consequence,  we  need  not  wonder  that  Talorg,  son  of 
Congus,  who  fought  in  Mearns  against  him,  on  being  betrayed  into 
the  hands  of  the  "  Piccards"  was  drowned  (733) — a  fate  which  in 
738  also  befell  Talorgan  Mac  Drostan,  King  of  Athole,  at  Angus's 
own  hauds.  These  "vere  the  leaders  of  the  Northern  Picts. 
Angus's  brave  but  turbulent  son,  Brude,  died  in  735,  shortly  after 
the  Dalriad  raid.  In  740  Angus  again  visited  Dalriada,  and  gave 
it  a  "  smiting"  (percussio),  as  the  old  annalist  has  it.  But  evil 
days  were  in  store  for  this  powerful  and  restless  warrior.  War 
broke  out  between  the  Picts  and  Britons  in  749,  aad  a  battle  was 
fought  at  Mugdock,  on  the  Dumbarton  borders,  wherein  fell 
Talorgan,  Angus's  brother,  amidst  great  slaughter  of  the  Picts ; 
and  the  annalist  adds  the  significant  remark,  "Ebb  of  Angus's 
sovereignty,"  for  the  wane  of  his  power  had  come.  Internal 
dissensions  again  broke'  out  in  Southern  Pictland ;  a  battle  was 
fought  in  the  year  751  in  the  "  Strath"  of  Mearns,  where  fell 
a  chief  with  the  well-known  name  of  Brude  Mac  Mailcon.  Possibly 
this  was  another  attack  upon  Angus  by  the  Northern  Picts. 
Simeon  of  Durham  records  that  Eadbert,  the  Anglic  King,  and 
Angus  of  Pictland  joined  forces  against  the  Britons,  advancing  as 
far  as  Dumbarton  Rock,  where  they  received  the  surrender  of  the 
Britons,  but  the  conquering  army  was  nearly  all  destroyed  in 
returning  homewards  (756).  Angus  died  in  760,  styled  "  King  of 
the  Picts ;"  but  his  brother,  who  succeeded  him,  died  in  762 
merely  as  King  of  Fortrenn.  This  dynasty  had  then  shrunk  to  its 
former  measure  of  power. 


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208  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

The  "devastation"  of  735  and  the  "smiting"  of  740  passed 
over  Dalriada,  as  did  similar  invasions  of  Scotland  at  the  hands  of 
the  English  in  later  times.  The  Cinel  Lorn  ruled  till  747.  We 
are  tcld  that  Muredach  grandson  of  Ferchar  Fada  assumed  the 
rule  of  Lorn  in  732,  but  the  King  of  that  house  given  in  the  Latin 
lists  is  Ewen,  son  of  Ferchar  Fada,  who  ruled  from  about  732 — 
the  date  of  Eochaidh  Mac  Eochaidh's  death — till  742,  when  the 
lists  recognise  the  Kingship  of  Muredach.  The  latter  is  succeeded 
by  his  son,  Ewen  ;  and  then  we  are  ou  the  firm  ground  of  refer- 
ence by  the  annalists  in  regard  to  the  next  King,  Aed  Finn,  son  of 
Eochaidh,  of  the  Cinel  Gabran,  who  succeeded  in  747,  and  whose 
death  as  King  of  Dalriada  is  recorded  in  the  Annals  of  Ulster 
under  777.  He  was  evidently  a  powerful  monarch,  but  the  only 
incident  of  his  reign  recorded  is  a  w*ar  with  the  Picts  in  767. 
"  War  in  Fortrenn,"  says  the  annalist,  "  between  Aed  and 
Kenneth."  *This  appears  to  prove  that  Aed  had  a  good  hold  in 
Western  Perthshire.  On  his  death  in  777  he  was  succeeded  by 
his  brother,  Fergus,  whom  the  annals  record  as  dying  in  780, 
"  King  of  Dalriada."  The  Annals  of  Ulster,  which  forms  so  valu- 
able a  check  on  the  king  lists,  unfortunately  records  no  purely 
Dalriadic  event  from  780  till  857,  the  death  of  Kenneth  Mac- 
Alpin.  After  Fergus  the  Latin  lists  enter  Selbach,  son  of  Ewen, 
the  Lorn  King  who  died  in  747,  as  King  for  twenty-four  years ; 
then  Eochaidh  the  Venomous,  son  of  Aed  Finn,  for  thirty  years, 
his  name  appearing  in  all  the  lists  save  in  the  Albanic  Duan  (but 
placed  by  Flann  next  to  Fergus) ;  thereafter  the  Latin  lists 
of  the  12th  and  13th  centuries  alone  have  at  this  point 
Dungal,  son  of  Selbach,  for  seven  years ;  and  Alpin,  son  of 
Eochaidh,  for  three  years — which  brings  us  to  the  year  843,  and 
to  Kenneth  Mac  Alpin.  Flann,  however,  followed  by  the  Albanic 
Duan,  places  Dungal  and  Alpin  about  1 00  years  earlier,  evidently 
making  Dungal  the  son  of  the  great  Sealbach  and  Alpin  brother 
of  King  Eochaidh  MacEochaidh,  who  died  in  732.  There  is  no 
good  reason  for  doubting  the  correctness  of  the  Latin  lists, 
especially  as  the  later  Alpin  must  have  existed,  as  he  was  father  of 
the  historic  Kenneth. 

Meanwhile  in  Pictland  events  of  importance  had  taken  place. 
Brude,  brother  of  Angus,  died  King  of  Fortrenn  in  762.  His 
successor  was  Kenneth,  King  of  the  Picts,  who,  as  was  seen, 
fought  with  Aed  Finn  in  Fortrenn,  with  what  result  we  know  not. 
The  annals  record  his  death  in  774.  Alpin,  son  of  Wroid  (774- 
779),  Drust,  son  of  Talorgan  (779-'83),  and  Talorgan,  son  of  Angus 
(783-786),  follow  one  another  in  quick  succession  in  the  lists^ 


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Mr  Skene  versus  Dr  Skene.  209 

Only  two  entries  occur  in  the  Ulster  Annals  for  these  years,  and 
they  both  concern  the  year  779.  The  one  records  the  death  of 
Alpin,  who  by  mistake  is  made  King  of  the  Saxons  (compare  the 
Saxon  Alfwin);  the  other  states  that  Dubh-talorg,  King  of  the 
Cismontane  Picts,  "  perished."  Skene  thinks  that  Talorgan,  the 
last  king  mentioned,  was  the  son  of  King  Angus,  and  that  he  was 
therefore  a  usurper,  having  no  right  by  Pictish  succession  law  to 
the  throne.  The  next  King  bore  the  very  Gaelic  name  of  Conall, 
son  of  Tadg,  or  Connell  MacTeague ;  his  father  was  doubtless  a 
Dalriad  or  Scot.  Civil  war  broke  out  again,  if  it  was  not  chronic, 
in  788.  Conall  was  defeated,  but  escaped  to  Dalriada,  and  the 
conqueror,  Constantine,  son  of  Fergus,  reigned  in  his  stead.  Conall 
himself  was  afterwards,  in  806,  slain  in  Kintyre,  by  one  Conall 
MacAedan.  It  was  in  the  early  years  of  Constant  ine's  reign  over 
the  Picts  that  the  Norsemen  and  Danes  appeared  in  the  northern 
and  western  seas.  They  attacked  the  Western  Isles  in  793,  and 
laid  them  waste.  Iona  escaped  till  801,  when  it  was  burned  and 
ravaged,  and  in  805  the  whole  community  of  68  persons  were  put 
to  the  sword.  Constantine  is  said  to  have  founded  the  Church  of 
Dunkeld,  possibly  in  view  of  the  loss  of  Iona  as  an  ecclesiastical 
centre.  He  died  in  820  :  the  record  calls  him  King  of  Fortrenn 
then.  He  was  succeeded  by  his  brother  Angus,  who  reigned  till 
833,  when  the  Annals  of  Ulster  again  record  the  title  as  King  of 
Fortrenn.  Confusion  now  reigned  among  the  Picts.  Drust,  son 
of  Constantine,  contrary  to  the  Pictish  law  of  succession,  tried  to 
rule,  but  the  rightful  heir  apparently  was  Talorgan,  son  of  Wthoil, 
and  there  was  a  corjoint  reign  for  some  four  years.  Alpin,  the 
Scot,  according  to  the  late  chronicles,  took  advantage  of  this  state 
of  things,  attacked  the  Picts  at  the  Easter  solemnities,  and 
defeated  them  (834) ;  but,  elated  with  victory,  he  again  engaged 
them  a  few  weeks  later,  and  was  defeated,  losing  his  life  thereby. 
Skene  puts  the  scene  of  this  battle  at  Pitelpie,  or  Pit-Alpin,  near 
Dundee.  The  next  King  of  Fortrenn  was  Eoganan,  son  of 
Angus,  who  ruled  from  836  to  838.  The  distracted  and  tottering 
kingdom  of  Pictland — if  such  a  thing  now  existed  as  "  kingdom" 
or  common  action  between  the  Northern  and  Southern  Picts — 
received  its  final  coup  from  the  Norsemen  or  Danes  in  838.  The 
simple  record  of  the  Annals  of  Ulster  is  here  given  :  the  tragedy 
has  to  be  read  between  the  lines  as  usual — "  Battle  by  the 
Gentiles  against  the  men  of  Fortrenn,  in  which  fell  Eoganan,  son 
of  Angus,  and  Bran,  son  of  Angus,  and  Aed,  son  of  Boanta  ;  and 
almost  countless  others  were  slain."  Kenneth  Mac  Alpin  took 
advantage  of  the  distracted  staije  of  Pictland,  and  some  authorities 

14 


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210  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness* 

have  it  that  he  grasped  the  Pictish  supremacy  in  838  after  the 
Danish  defeat.  The  Kings'  lists  give  two  further  monarchs  for 
Pictland — Wrad,  son  of  Bargoit,  for  three  years,  and  Brude  (Bred 
in  the  lists),  one  year.  Kenneth  united  the  Picts  and  Scots  in 
843  in  one  kingdom  of  Scotia,  then  and  for  some  time  thereafter 
known  to  outsiders,  however,  as  Pictland,  as  a  witness  of  which 
we  have  the  Pentland  Firth,  Norse  Pettland,  that  is  Pictland  or 
Scotland  Firth,  and  the  Annals  of  Ulster  record  Kenneth's  death 
in  857  as  King  of  the  Picts.  Kenneth  had  some  struggles  with 
his  Pictish  subjects,  it  is  said,  for  the  first  seven  years  of  his 
reign,  but  thereafter  he  ruled  in  peace. 

The  immediate  cause  of  the  collapse  of  the  Pictish  power  was, 
no  doubt,  the  defeat  and  damage  inflicted  by  the  Danes.  The 
kingdom  was  also  torn  by  civil  dissension,  possibly  eaused  by  the 
law  of  succession  to  the  throne.  Heirship  was  traced  through  the 
mother,  not  the  father,  as  I  pointed  out  already.  A  king's  son 
could  not  succeed  him,  for  the  right  lay  in  the  King's  mother, 
and  it  passed  from  her  to  her  daughter.  In  fact,  the  heir  to  the 
iing  was  his  own  brother  or  the  son  of  his  sister.  Pictish 
Princesses  married  outsiders  often — in  fact  were  exogamists ; 
possibly  they  were  queens  of  British  Strathclyde  or  Dalriada,  or 
the  outside  Princes  may  have  had  them  as  "  hand-fast"  wives  on 
a  sojourn  or  in  exile  in  Pictland.  Thus,  Talorgan  (657-661)  was 
son  of  Eanfred,  an  Anglic  Prince,  son  of  Ethelfred,  King  of 
Anglia,  himself  afterwards  King  of  Northumbria.  He  was  an 
exile  among  the  Picts  when  he  fell  in  with  the  Royal  Princess. 
The  next  two  Kings— Gartnait  (661-667)  and  Drust  (667-674) 
— were  sons  of  Domhnall  or  Donald,  a  Dalriadic  or  Scottic 
name,  and  no  doubt  a  Prince  of  the  Scots.  The  next  King 
we  may,  without  any  great  doubt,  regard  as  the  son  of  the  King 
of  Alclud  or  Dumbarton,  viz.,  Brude,  son  of  Bili  (674-695),  Bili 
being  the  father  of  the  British  King  Owen,  who  killed  Domnall 
Brecc  in  641.  In  fact  Nennius  censures  Ecfrid,  the  Anglian 
King,  for  attacking  Pictland  in  the  last  half  of  the  7th  century, 
calling  it  an  "  uncousinly"  act.  This  one-sided  exogamy  must 
have  been  a  source  of  weakness  from  making  the  Kings  too 
friendly  with  external  states ;  but  it  was  still  more  so  from  a 
dynastic  point  of  view,  for  it  in  fact  destroyed  dynasty  founding : 
a  man  fought,  not  for  his  own,  but  for  his  sister's,  house. 
Another  weakness  in  the  Pictish  kingdom,  so  called,  was  its 
physical  character :  it  was  divided  naturally  by  the  Grampians 
into  Northern  and  Southern  Picts,  and  they  certainly  did  not 
work  harmoniously  together.  Evidently  also  there  was  a  King  of 
Athole  who  could  give  trouble. 


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Mr  Skene  versus  Dr  Skene.  211 

The  real  crux  of  the  Pictish  question,  after  all,  is  not  the  con- 
quest by  the  Scots  :  the  difficulty  is  the  rapid  disappearance  of  the 
language,  not  a  literary  specimen,  scarcely  an  ordinary  word,  of  which 
remains.  Every  authority  is  now  agreed  that  it  was  more  or  less 
different  from  both  Gaelic  and  Welsh  :  even  Skene,  after  seeing  the 
-Cornish  names  in  the  Bodmin  Manumissions  in  the  first  volume  of 
the  "  Rev.  Celtique,"  acknowledged  that  there  was  a  British  element 
in  the  list  of  Pictish  Kings,  but  it  was  Cornish,  not  Welsh  :  in  fact, 
the  Picts  between  the  Tay  and  the  Forth,  belonging  as  they  did 
to  the  British  Damnonii,  were,  he  says,  British  by  race  in  all  pro- 
bability ;  but  the  Northern  Picts  were  pure  Gael  of  Alban,  direct 
ancestors  of  the  modern  Gael,  language  and  all,  he  thinks.  What 
greatly  contributed  to  kill  the  Pictish  so  soon- was  the  fact  of  its 
not  being  a  literary  language  like  the  Irish  or  Gaelic.  Besides,  the 
ecclesiastical  language,  outside  Latin,  was  Gaelic.  Skene's  idea 
that  the  Columban  monks  and  church  were  banished  from  Pictland 
is  untenable  in  the  light  of  subsequent  faces  :  Nectan's  "  expulsio  " 
of  Colnmban  monks  in  716  was  merely  a  burst  of  reforming  zeal, 
and  conformity  with  the  Roman  calendar  would  ensure  non- 
molestation.  We  may  be  sure  most  conformed ;  and  in  any  case 
Iona  itself  conformed  next  year !  The  pressure  of  the  Norse  on 
the  West  and  North  of  Scotland  (possibly  on  the  East  as  well)  also 
confined  the  range  of  both  languages,  and  made  the  struggle,  such 
as  it  was,  all  the  shorter  and  keener.  Like  its  sister  language,  the 
British  of  Strathclyde,1  Pictish  soon  disappeared,  leaving  its  impress 
strongly  laid  on  the  landscape  of  Pictland.  Every  available  source . 
of  information — names  in  the  Kings'  lists,  other  names,  and  the 
ancient  and  modern  place-names — prove  that  the  Pictish  language 
was  of  the  same  Celtic  branch  as  the  Welsh. 

The  reality  of  the  conquest  of  the  Picts  by  the  Scots  was  never 
•doubted  till  the  publication  of  Pinkerton's  "Enquiry  into  the 
History  of  Scotland"  in  1789.  Pinkerton,  working  on  the 
■"Albanic  Duan,"  found  that  Dungal,  son  of  Selbach,  and  Alpin, 
son  of  Eochaidh,  were  placed  at  about  730,  while  the  Latin  lists 
-end  the  line  of  Dalriadic  Kings  with  these  two  names — Kenneth 
MacAlpin,  son  of  the  latter,  becoming  King  of  the  united  peoples. 
His  idea  was  that  the  Dalriadic  Kingdom  came  to  an  end  in  730 
or  thereabout,  through  the  exertions  of  Angus  Mac  Fergus  of 

1  Indeed  it  may  be  said  that  the  British  language  of  Strathclyde  disappeared 
with  greater  suddenness  and  thoroughness  than  Pictish.  Strathclyde  had  a 
separate  existence  till  the  middle  of  the  tenth  century,  when  the  Scots 
absorbed  it.  Gaelic  dominated  the  west  coast  from  Renfrew  through  Ayr  to 
Galway  for  several  centuries  thereafter  ;  and  it  has  left  its  impress  still  strong 
on  personal  and  place  names  there. 


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212  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

Fortrenn,  who,  in  short,  wiped  it  out,  and  annexed  the  country  to 
Pictland.  It  is  a  minor  matter  that  he  regarded  the  Picts  as  of 
Gothic  descent :  they  were  too  gcod  to  be  of  Celtic  descent ! 

Skene  arrives  at  similar  conclusions  from  these  and  other 
premises.  Alpin  he  makes  the  last  King  of  Dalriada.  A  battle, 
called  the  battle  of  Dun  Cathmail,  fought  really  by  the  Irish 
Cruithnigh,  is  transferred  by  him  to  Galloway,  and  there,  in  741, 
he  somehow  manages  to  kill  off  A.lpin,  the  last  Dalriadic  King. 
Of  course,  Angus  Mac  Fergus  is  his  hero :  he  conquered  and 
annexed  Dalriada.  The  awkward  facts  of  Aed  Finn's  sovereignty 
of  that  country  (747-777),  and  the  still  more  awkward  fact  of 
Kenneth  Mac  Alpin,  a  Scot  of  Dalriada,  becoming  King  of  the 
unconquered  Picts  is  as  awkwardly  got  over.  Aed  "  attempted  to 
restore  the  Dalriadic  Kingdom,"  and  Alpin,  father  of  Kenneth, 
"  Scot  by  paternal  descent,"  claims  inter  alios  the  Pictish  throne 
in  834,  and  his  son  Kenneth,  with  the  help  of  the  Danes,  makes 
good  the  claim  !     Such,  in  brief,  is  Skene's  answer. 

In  the  first  place,  Skene  has  misread  the  history  of  Angus  Mac 
Fergus.  An  important  sentence  in  the  Annals  of  Ulster  was  mis- 
read by  Dr  O'Connor,  and  Skene  has  not  got  it  in  his  extracts  in 
the  "Chronicles  of  the  Picts  and  Scots."  This  is  the  remark 
which  follows  the  account  of  the  war  between  the  Britons  and 
Picts  in  749,  "  Wane  of  the  sovereignty  of  Angus  "  It  is  correctly 
given  in  Hennessey's  new  edition  of  the  Annals.  Besides,  there  is 
no  indication  in  the  Annals  of  any  annexation  of  Dalriada  or  any- 
thing beyond  an  ordinary  invasion,  cruel  of  its  kind.  The 
Dalriads  were  more  often  the  invaders  than  the  Picts.  Aed's  war 
in  Fortrenn  in  767  is  ample  disproof  of  Skene's  position :  here  we 
have  the  Scots  at  their  old  game  of  fighting  east  of  Perthshire,  as 
they  did  in  the  days  of  Aedan  (573-605). 

Skene  has  not,  as  already  said,  shown  high  critical  faculty  in 
dealing  with  the  Latin  king's  lists  as  against  Flann's  "Synch- 
ronisms" and  the  Arbanic  Duan.  The  Latin  lists  bring  the  kings' 
names  and  reigns  down  to  William  the  Lion,  and  Skene  correctly 
regards  the  original  list  as  composed  about  then.  The  best  one  is  in 
the  Colbertine  fourteenth  century  MS.,  which  Skene  reproduces  in 
fac-simile.  This  MS.  contains  the  Pictish  list  of  kings  as  well ; 
and  it  is  amusing  to  note  that,  whereas  the  Pictish  part  is  given 
as  belonging  to  the  tenth  century,  and  given  on  the  first  page 
onwards,  the  Scottic  part  is  relegated  to  page  130  and  the 
twelfth  century!.  Some  Latin  lists,  those  followed  by  Fordun, 
place  a  King  Maolduin  after  Donald  Brecc  (641),  and  in  this  they 
are  right.     In  fact,  Flann  puts  Donald's  three  brothers  and  two 


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Mr  Skene  versus  Dr  Skene.  213 

nephews  between  him  and  Ferchar  Fada  from  641  to  675.  Flann 
Mainstrech  died  in  1056,  and  Skene  regards  the  u  Synchronisms  " 
he  quotes  as  belonging  to  Flann  and  to  the  eleventh  century. 
But  these  "  Synchronism^  "  end  in  1119,  and  can  hardly  be 
Flann's.  Anyway  they  are  valuable,  but  little  discernment  seems 
to  have  been  exercised  in  choosing  the  kings'  names  :  any  leading 
prince  seems  to  have  got  a  place ;  and  the  last  five  kings,  if  not 
more,  before  Kenneth  MacAlpin  were  Pictish  kings  or  princes 
shoved  in  much  on  the  principle  that  Finlay,  Macbeth's  father, 
and  Malcolm,  his  cousin,  are  recorded  as  "  Kings  of  Alban  "  in  the 
Irish  Annals,  in  1020  and  1029. 

Skene,  however,  makes  much  of  the  last  kings  given  by  Flann 
before  Kenneth  :  it  proves,  he  thinks,  that  the  Pictish  kings  were 
also  kings  of  Dalriada.  It  just  proves  that  Flann's  continuator 
was  generous  in  his  interpretation  of  what  constituted  "  ri  Alban." 
The  pitiable  mess  made  by  the  Albanic  Duan  in  assigning  them 
years  of  reign  might  have  warned  Skene  that  something  was 
wrong.  Thus  Constantine,  who  really  reigned  in  Pictland  thirty 
years,  is  made  in  the  Albanic  Duan  to  reign  only  nine.  The  Duan 
is  evidently  founded  on  Flann,  or  Flann's  sources ;  but  differs 
from  Flann  in  giving  the  length  of  the  reigns,  and  in  omitting  the 
great  Selbach ;  Eochaidh  MacEochaidh  ;  Fergus,  brother  of  Aed 
Finn ;  and  Eochaidh  the  Venomous.  Skene,  as  we  saw,  regards 
it  as  having  been  written  in  Malcolm  Ceannmore's  time,  but  it  is 
plainly  a  production  of  a  much  later  age.  In  fact,  it  has  far  less 
value  than  the  Latin  lists  from  which  it  differs.  Skene,  however, 
regards  itself  and  Flann  as  prior  to  the  lists,  which  is  undoubtedly 
a  mistake  in  critical  judgment.  He  simply  repeats  the  same 
mistake  as  he  made  in  1837  in  rejecting  these  native  Latin  lists 
and  chronicles  in  favour  of  the  Norse  Sagas  for  the  history  of  the 
period  from  843  to  1057.  The  native  chronicles  after  all  turned 
out  to  be  correct;  and  "Celtic  Scotland"  follows  them  for 
843—1057  :  Why  not  for  731  to  843? 

Skene,  in  maintaining  that  the  Picts  absorbed  the  Scots,  as 
against  the  old-established  view  that  the  Scots  overcame  the  Picts, 
further  held  that  the  Pictish  language  and  race  still  exist  in  the 
Highlands ;  in  short,  Pictish  was  Gaelic.  He  appealed  to  the 
unlikelihood  of  such  a  disappearance  of  the  language  as  almost  to 
leave  no  trace,  forgetting  the  similar  disappearance  of  the  British 
language  of  Strathclyde  ;  and  by  some  antiquated  philologising  he 
proved  that  there  was  nothing  to  disappear,  for  the  Gaelic  and  Pictish 
were  one.  The  historical  objection  to  his  views  is  great:  his 
theory  runs  counter  to  all  the  traditions  and  literature  of  the  race. 


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214  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

In  view  of  these,  his  theory  is  bizarre  and  revolutionary,  yet  so 
plausible  is  it  that  it  now  holds  the  field  among  Scottish  scholars 
And  the  worst  of  it  is,  as  I  said,  that  every  man  that  writes  a  local 
or  county  history  accepts  Skene's  views  a<s  a  matter  of  course,  and 
does  not  seem  to  dream  even  that  he  is  accepting  views  which  are 
revolutionary  and  contrary  to  the  historic  material  and  traditionary 
lore  of  his  country. 


4th  FEBRUARY,  18V7. 

At  the  meeting  this  evening  Mr  David  Boss,  solicitor,  Inverness 
and  Rev.  Charles  M.  Robertson,  Inverness,  were  elected  ordinary 
members  of  the  Society.  Thereafter  Mr  A.  Macbain,  M.A.,  read 
a  paper  contributed  by  Rev.  John  Kennedy,  Arran,  on  "Some 
Unpublished  Gaelic  Ballads  from  the  Maclagan  MSS."  The 
paper  was  as  follows  : — 

SOME  ^UNPUBLISHED  GAELIC  BALLADS  FROM  THE 
MACLAGAN  MSS.— No.  I. 

INTRODUCTION— MEMOIR  OF  MACLAGAN. 

Many  of  our  members  who  are  interested  in  ancient  Gaelic 
lore  are  more  or  less  familiar  with  some  of  the  contents  of  these 
MSS.,  although  they  may  know  very  little  regarding  the  collector 
of  them  In  the  Highland  Society's  "  Report  on  the  authenticity 
of  the  poems  of  Ossian,"  1805,  there  are  frequent  references  to 
these  MSS.  At  pp.  153-156,  we  find  that  Maclagan  helped  Mac- 
pherson  to  get  some  well-known  ballads.  Mr  Maclagan  also 
made  a  valuable  Ossianic  collection  for  the  Highland  Society  of 
Scotland,  but  it  seems  to  have  been  lost.  The  materials  from 
which  he  worked  it  were  kept  in  his  family,  who  kindly  lent  them 
to  the  editors  of  "  Reliquiae  Celticse,"  to  make  good  the  loss  of  the 
original.  (See  "  Reliquiae  Celtic®, "  Vol.  I.,  xiv.)  Mr  Maclagan 
contributed  most  of  the  Ossianic  poetry  in  Gillies's  collection 
(1786),  and  many  other  songs  to  be  found  in  that  work.  There 
is  much  in  the  MSS.  still  unpublished,  and  the  following  poems 
arc  only  a  few  out  of  many,  selected  on  the  grounds  of  variety  of 
theme.  The  following  biographic  sketch  of  this  industrious 
collector  of  Gaelic  poetry,  taken  from  Rodger's  "Scottish  Min- 
strelsy," Vol.  III.,  will  doubtless  be  of  interest  to  our  members  : — , 


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Unpublished  Gaelic  Ballads.  215 

"  James  Maclagan  was  the  son  of  a  small  farmer  at  Ballechin,. 
in  the  parish  of  Logierait,  Perthshire,  where  he  was  born  in  17228, 
Educated  at  the  University  of  St  Andrews,  he  received  licence  as 
a  probationer  of  the  Established  Church.     Through  the  influence 
of  the  Duke  of  Atholl,  he  was  appointed  to  the  Chapel  of  Ease  at 
Amulree,  in  Perthshire,  and  subsequently  to  the  chaplainship  of 
the  42nd  Regiment,  his  commission  to  the  latter  office  bearing 
date  the  15th  of  June,  1764.     His  predecessor  in  the  chaplainship 
was  Dr  Adam  Ferguson,  author  of  the  "  History  of  the  Roman 
Republic,"   who   was   also   a  native  of  the  parish  of   Logierait. 
Than  Mr  Maclagan  few  could  have  been  better  qualified  for  the 
duties  of  chaplain  to  a  Highland  regiment.     He  was  intimately 
conversant  with  the  language,  character,  and  partialities  of  the 
Gael,   and   was  possessed  of   much  military  ardour,  as  well  as 
Christian  devotedness.    He  accompanied  the  regiment  to  America, 
and  was  present  in  several  skirmishes  during  the  War  of  Inde- 
pendence.    Anecdotes   are   still   recounted   of   the   humour  and 
•  spirit  with  which  he  maintained  an  influence  over  the  minds  of 
his  flock ;  and  Stewart,  in  his  "  History  of  the  Highlands,"  has 
described   him   as   having   essentially   contributed   to   form   the 
character    of     the     Highland    soldier,    then    in    the    novitiate 
of  his  loyalty  and  efficiency  in  the  national  service.     In  1776, 
while   stationed    with    his    regiment    in    Glasgow,   he   had   the 
,  freedom  of  the  city  conferred  on  him  by  the  Corporation.     After 
discharging  the  duties  of  military  chaplain  during  a  period  of  24 
years,  he  was  in  1788  presented  by  the  Duke  of  Atholl  to  the 
parish   of   Blair- Athole,    Perthshire.      He   died  in   1805,  in  the 
seventy-seventh  year  of  his  age.     A  pious  and  exemplary  clergy- 
man, Mr  Maclagan  is  still  kindly  remembered  in  the  scene  of  his 
parochial  ministrations.      An  accomplished   Gaelic   scholar,  and 
with  a  strong  admiration  of  the  poetry  of  the  Gael,  he  recovered, 
from  the  recitation  of  many  aged  persons  large  portions  of  the 
poetry  of  Ossian,  prior  to  the  publication  of  the  collections  of 
Macpherson.     He  composed  some  spirited  Gaelic  lyrics  during  the 
period  of  his  connection  with  the  army,  but  the  greater  portion  of 
his  poetry  still  remains  in  MS.     A  collection  of  Gaelic  songs  under 
his  editorial  superintendence,  was  published  anonymously. 

"  Mr  Maclagan  was  of  fair  and  ruddy  complexion,  and  was 
under  the  middle  stature.  He  was  fond  of  humour,  and  his 
dispositions  were  singularly  benevolent.  In  youth  he  was 
remarkable  for  his  skill  in  athletic  exercises.  He  married 
Catherine  Stewart,  daughter  of  the  Rev.  James  Stewart,  minister 
of  Killin,  the  originator  of  the  translation  of  the  Scriptnres  into 


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216  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness 

the  Gaelic  language.     Of  a  family  of  four  sous  and  three  daughters,  , 
one  son  and  two  daughters  still  survive  ;  his  eldest  son,  the  Kev. 
James  Maelagan,  D.D.,  was  successively  minister  of  the  parishes 
of  Auchtergaven  and  Kinfauns,  in  Perthshire,   and  ultimately 
Free  Church  Professor  of  Divinity  in  Aberdeen." 

Kann  Obunn. 

Labhair  rium  am  Bradan  tapaidh — 
"  'S  mionach  cait  th'  agad  ri  d*  bheist,1 

Sud  is  cuile2  bhuidhe,  lacunn, 

'S  ni  nach  taitneach  le  Righ  &sg." 

Parson — 

"  'S  maith  a  thachair  thu  ri  parson,8 
.    So  dubh'4  gasda  's  6r  an  gleus." 

Salmon — 

"  Sin  an  ceart  ni  a  bhios  agam, 
Dh'  ain-de6in  acuinn  agus  cleir." 
Thuirt  mise — "  Laimh  dinars',  cha'n  fhaigh  thu  ; 

Tha  teud  righinn  air  a  d&gh  ; 
Tha  mi  fern  sgath5  aingidh  laidir 

'S  bidh  cruaidh  spairn  againn  mu  'n  bh&st." 
Thug  e  ruathar — am  bradan  tapaidh — 

Chuile  ghlac  e  ann  a  bhe*ul, 
Thug  sinn  fichead  car  W  ghlac-shruth 

Thug  mi  mach  e,  's  chaidh  e  £ug. 

An  Gille  Dubh  Gaolach. 
Ise. 
Mo  ghille  dubh  gaolach  eatrom  acfuinneach, 
Sunntach,  suairc  gun  ghruainn  air  aigneadh 
Is  miannach  learn  do  chomhradh  taitneach 
Gu  'n  siubhiainn  fada  o'm  dhaoine  leat. 

'S  e  mo  ruin  an  t-digfhear  suairce, 
'    'Shiubhias  gleann  is  beinn  is  fuaran, 
Beith  do  choiliobh  air  do  ghualainn, 
Shiubhlainn  cuan  is  caolas  leat. 

1  Dh&8t=bait. 
•  2  cuile =cuileag — fly. 

3  parson = probably  the  author,  Rev.  Mr  Maelagan. 

4  dubh'  =  dubhan — hook. 
*  sgath  =  somewhat. 


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Unpublished  Gaelic  Ballads.  217 

*S  e  mo  ruin  an  Gaidheal  rimheach, 
Beul  gun  bhruaidneal,  is  suairc  a  labhras  ; 
Ge  do  dhiultain  cuirteir  Gallta, 
Shiubhlainn  beinn  is  aonach  leat. 

Faill  ill  o  ro  uill  ho  ro 

Faill  ill  o  ro  uill  o  ho 

Faill  ill  o  ro  uill  ho  ro 

Gur  h-e  mo  ghille  dubh  gaolach  e. 

Eise. 

Ghruagach  6g  nan  oir-chiabh  faineach 
Modhail,  beusach,  ceillidh,  narach, 
A  ruin  mo  chl&mh,  cha  deanainn  tair  ort, 
Beith  mi  ghnath  do  t-inndraichinn. 

Deud  mar  chalice  labhras  suairce, 
Gruaidh  mar  ros  aig  oig-mhnai  uasail, 
Do  shiios  mar  nonain  air  Ion  fuarain, 
B'  e  mo  luaidh  bhith  sugradh  riut. 

Do  bheul  cumhraidh  mar  an  cainneal 
T*  anail  ur  mar  ubhla  meala 
Tha  do  shuil  mar  dhruchd  air  bharrach 
Mo  ruin  geal  thu,  lubainn  leat. 

Faill  ill,  <fcc, 

Gur  i  mo  chaileag  shugach  i. 

Air  Comhbao  Bhax.     Lb  Tailbir  am  Muilb. 

'S  coma  leom  na.mnathan  fadhair, 
Nach  gleadhadh  an  an-tlachd, 
Tha  mo  chluasan  air  fas  bodhar, 
Le  glodhar  bhur  cainte. 
Noise  o  chuaidh  sibh  o  riaghailt 
Leigim  srian  le  bhur  n-aimhleas ; 
Teannuidh  mi  gu  aite  diomhair 
O  mhio-thlachd  bhur  cainte. 

'S  ann  sud  bha  'm  firam,  farum, 
Chiris,  chairis  chainte, 
Shaoileadh  gach  fear  reachadh  seachad 
Gu  'm  bu  chlach  le  gleann  e  ;         # 


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218  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

N  uair  dh*  eliigh  an  t-shipe,  shoipe 
Am  measg  a'  phrascain  bhantrach 
Geodhlair  air  mnathan  na  tartraioh, 
'S  droch  fhasan  a  dh'  ionnsuich  iad. 

Dh'  ionnsuich  iad  bhi  beurrach,  sgaiteach 

La  fan t'  ann  an  cainte, 

Gun  aon  t£(a)  dhiubh  'gabhail  suasadh, 

Is  iad  's  a  bheirt  cho  coimh-dheis 

Ge  do  chairich  an  Riogh  cail-dhreach  orra 

Caoin  air  ascaoin  thionntaidh  iad, 

Mo  cheud  mollachd  aig  a'  phaca 

Thr&g  an  tlachd  air  an-tlachd. 

Sin  'nuair  thoisich  iad  da  rireadh, 

*S  shin  iad  air  na  h-armaibh, 

Tharruinn(g)  t£(a)  dhiubh  cuigeal  direach 

*S  tapan  mln-gheal,  marrachunn 

An  snath  bu  choile  na  'n  s\de, 

'S  e  gu  sliobhta,  ballachruinn, 

'N  deis  a  tharruinn(g)  as  a*  ghriosaich, 

Aig  ro  mhiad  na  h-argumaint. 

Sin  'nuair  chunna  bean  na  ceirtle 

Lasair  ris  an  abhras, 

Dorn  air  bhuirbe  *s  air  ghaisge, 

Air  chaise  's  air  chainte  ; 

'S  mor  gu  'm  b'  fhearr  a  seachnadh, 

Na  'glacadh  's  an  am  ud  ; 

Rug  i  air  cuaile  maith  bata 

'S  shlac  i  feadh  nan  ceann  iad. 

Cha  raibh  crumach  's  cha  raibh  cailleach 

'S  cha  raibh  bean  'ga  seanntachd  ; 

Cha  raibh  gruagach  6g  na  cailinn, 

Bean-baile  no  banntrach, 

Nach  d'  &righ  nam  frime,  frama, 

B'  i  sud  an  eangach  aimh-reit, 

Fallas  gach  te(a)  air  a  mala 

'S  malairteach  a'  sealltuinn. 


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Unpublished  Gaelic  Ballads.  219 

Ian  Lom,  &c. 

Is  mise  bhiogh  gu  h-aighireach, 
Nam  faighinn  mar  a  dh'  iarruinn 
An  ceann  thoirt  do  Mhac-Cailein 
Agus  fail  air  Mac  loin  Riabhach. 

Ciod  an  cagnadh  th*  agad  oirnn  daonan  ? 
Cha  'n  e  'bhi  gar  cagnadh  bu  doilich  leom, 
Ach  nach  b'  nrrainn  domh  bhur  slugadh. 

Dol  a  chreachadh  nan  srathaibh 
Is  srathair  air  a'  bhliadhnach. 

Is  fuath  leom  ceile  bhiodh  carrach, 
Is  fuath  leom  cailleach  ri  ,p6sadh, 
Is  fuath  leom  oiseach  gun  oran, 
Is  fuath  leom,  Och,  Och,  gun  tinneas. 

Am  Fonn  Ilbach. 

*S  daor  a  phai(gh)  mi  'm  Fonn  Ileach 
'S  leir  do  m'  Righ  nach  e  'n  t-airgead  : 

'S  i  creach  Sheumuis  a  le6n  mi,  '  . 

Dhol  am  feoil  bhrathar  a  mhathar. 

'S  ur  an  tugsaig  a  leagadh, 
Air  an  ebir  bhig  bhlatain. 

'S  daor  a  cheanuuigh  mi  'n  t-saighead, 
Rinn  an  rathad  gu  gathainn, 

A  chuir  maillid  air  th'  amharc, 
A  mhic  na  mna  o  'n  Ghairbhil. 

Ann  an  Cilie-Chomain  an  Ilea, 
Ghabh  do  dhilsin  fern  fardoch. 

Ach  a  cheile  Catriona, 
Fear  dileas,  treun  laidir ; 

Agus  Ruaraidh  na  f&le 
Bheireadh  feusda  da  chairdean. 

Ach  a*  Bhothag  a'  ghlinne, 
Leom  is  binn  thu  na  clairseach ; 

Ach  a'  Bhothag  an  Easain 
Leom  is  leisg  bhi  ga  t'  fheachain, 


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220  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

O  nach  fhaighinn  'na  shuain  ann 
Am  fear  ruadh  mar  a  b'  abhaist. 

Iurram  Bata. 

Hoirinn  o  u  ho  ino, 

Iuru  o  ro  hug  eile, 

Hoirinn  o  u  ho  ino. 
i. 
Mo  cheiad  air  fear  a'  chnii  dosraich 
Dh'  aitb'ninn  air  thoiaeach  nan  ceud  e. 

n. 
Mo  luaidh  air  fear  a'  chuil  doalaich 
Cha  b'  e  bnachaille  nan  spreidh  e. 

in. 
Mo  cbeist  air  fear  a'  chuil  bhuidheadh, 
A  dhireadh  am  bruthach  gu  h-eatrom. 

IV. 

Shiubhladh,  shiubhla,  shiubhlainn  fein  leat 
A  dh'  aon  taobh  gu'n  teid  thu. 
(  Tarialum)  Rachainn  leat  air  chul  na  greuie. 

v. 
Shiubhlainn  leat  coillc  na  'n  cabair 
Ge  do  bhiodh  sneachd  air  na  geugan. 

VI. 

Chunncas  do  long  sios  an  rudha 
'S  i  na  siubhal  fiu  Ian  ^ididh. 

VII. 

'S  minic  chualas  fuaim  do  chrannaig, 
Siubhal  roimh  laethe  (la)  air  chuan  Eirinn. 

vin. 
Bha  mo  leannan  f^in  air  stiuir  ann 
;S  ro  mhaith  thig  gach  cuis  mu  }n  teid  e, 

IX. 

Bha  roo  leannan  fein  air  stiuir  ann 
'S  cha  robh  curam  orm  mu  dheimhinn. 

x. 

Fhad  *8  a  mhaireas  crainn  gun  lubadh 
S  a  mhaireas  na  siuil  gun  reubadh. 

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Unpublished  Gaelic  Ballads.  221 

FtJATH   NA   H-UlSEAG. 


Ceithir  nithe  gu  'n  tug  mi  f  uath  , 

Do  mnai  luath  dhubh  is  do  chu  mall 

Do  sheann  duine  (oighre  fearthuin)  gan  bhi  glic 

Agus  slios  (also  var.)  nach  tuga  clann. 

ii. 
Is  f  uath  learn  oiseach  gan  oran, 
.    Is  fuath  learn  ochain  gan  tinnis, 
Is  fuath  learn  dubh  Ghall  gan  Bhearla, 
Is  fuath  learn  teidin  gan  bhinnis. 

in. 
Is  fuath  learn  loohan  air  lar  nis, 
Is  fuath  learn  gan  chlachan  thairis, 
Is  fuath  leam  neid  natharach  an  dris, 
Is  fuath  leam  balach  air  banais. 

IV. 

Is  fuath  leam  cogar  re  boghar, 

Is  fuath  leam  loghar  (lame)  an  coisiridh  (travelling) 

Is  fuath  leam  mo  cheilidh  a  bhi  carrach, 

Is  fuath  leam  caileach  a  phosadh. 

v. 
Is  fuath  leam  tigh  mor,  falamh,  fas, 
•  Gan  bhlas  gan  teine  gan  bhiadh  ; 
Is  fuath  leam  bean  6g  bhruineach  bhrais, 
Is  fuath  leam  duine  cas  liath. 

VI. 

Is  fuath  leam  bain-tighearna  labhar, 
Is  fuath  leam  Abhal l  gan  ubhlan, 
Is  fuath  leam  ceann  cleiridh  gun  teagas, 
Is  fuath  leam  cearcal  nach  lubadh.  . 

VII. 

Is  fuath  leam  miosgain  nam  fear  part, 
Is  fuath  leam  troda  na  mna  gaoil  (loving), 
Is  fuath  leam  suidhe  fad  an  cill 
Air  droch  comun  is  air  luinn  daor. 

1 1  take  abhal  to  be  the  true  etymology  of  Athell,  as  it  abounds  with 
wild  apples.  Or  if  it  be  ahol,  which  in  old  Gaelic  signifies  mouth,  it  is  the 
mouth  or  entrance  into  the  Grampian  Mountains. 


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222  'Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

VIII. 

Is  fuath  learn  diulta  gan  iartas, 
Is  fuath  learn  fiatachd  gan  fhe6rach, 
Is  fuath  learn  aigne  's  i  sgaoilte 
Aig  neach  nach  saoilte  bhi  gorach. 

IX. 

Is  fuath  learn  iarna  gan  chonn, 
Is  fuath  learn  long  a  bhios  gan  stiuir, 
Is  fuath  leam  duine  lochdach  searbh, 
Is  fuath  leam  talamh  dearg  gan  siol. 


Is  fuath  leam  suireach  fai teach  (shy) 
Air  mnai  shuilbhir  nan  rose  mall, 
Is  fuath  leam  an  uair  a  gheabhadh  e  cheid 
Gu  'm  bithidh  an  eleas  air  chall. 

XI. 

Is  fuath  leam  ceann  fedna  (leader)  gan  bhi  cruaidh, 
Is  fuath  leam  sluath  nach  togadh  creach ; 
Is  fuath  leam  an  cogadh  na  'n  sith 
Am  fear  nach  cuiridh  ni  ma  'n  seach. 

(Note). — There  is  another  verse  awanting  to  complete  this  poem,  which 
I'll  soon  get.  I  have  obscured  several  words  through  bad  spelling,  which  I 
hope,  sir,  you'll  excuse  me.  Those  I  thought  doubtful  I  wrote  their  meaning 
in  English  immediately  above. 

(The  spelling  of  the  original  has  not  been  interfered  with. — J.  K.) 

Lb  Fear  Shrath-Mhathaisidh  [M.  Gillies]. 

Tha  sluagh  an  t-saoghail-se  'nan  deannaibh, 
Fear  ag  scaoileadh  's  fear  ag  tional, 
Fear  ag  carnadh  6ir  's  ga  mhuchadb, 
S  fear  eile  ga  mhuin  re  balladh. 

Uainn  a  dhaoine,  's  gabhaidh  'n  seol  e, 
Bhi  ro  ghlic,  no  bhi  ro  gh6rach, 
Leigibh  dhibh  e  's  leanaibh  mise 
Seall  sibh  noise  dhuibh  mo  dh6idhse. 


Gun  bhi  ro  chaiteach,  no  nam  dhaolaig, 
Cruinneach,  6ir,  no  ga  scaoileadh, 
Ma  gheabh  mi  biadh,  teine  's  earradh, 
Ta  mi  toilichte  dhe  'n  t-saoghal. 


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Unpublished  Gaelic  Ballade.  223 

'Nuair  a  bhuaileas  an  t-eug  a  ghath  orm, 
Tha  mo  Shlan-fhear  air  a  chathair, 
Bheir  e  mi  cho  luath  do  Pharrais, 
'S  ge  b'  e  Kigh  na  Spainne  m'  athair. 

Altuchadh  nam  Meirleach. 
Le  Alastair  M6r  Mac  a  Lonabhidh.1 

A  Mhic  Dbonuill  Duibb  moir  o  Lochai,  Dean  trocair  oirne,  is 
aim  duit  bu  dual ;  thu  fein  agus  odhacban  do  dha  sbeanar,  Fear 
Chuil-cbeannan,  Fear  an  earracbd  agus  Fear  nan  Oluainte. 
Alastair  Mh6ir  Ghlinn-deiseir,  fs  tu  bheireadb  maitheambnas 
duinne,  an  uair  a  bhitheadh  cuid  chaich  aguinn.  A  mbic  a 
Lonabhaidb  as  an  t-Sroin,  Cuireamaid  ar  dochas  annad  ;  Is  trie  a 
thug  thu  dhuinn  greim  rathaid,  gun  bhonn  a  gbabhail  ga  cheann. 
Ach  guidhidhmid  air  Fear  Ghlinn-Eamhais,  o  na  's  ann  air  a  tha 
sonus  na  fe61a.  Is  trie  a  cheil  e  'n  toir  ann  sa  mhona  gun  bhonn 
a  sea  a  chuir  a  'r  pocaid.  Gu  ma  h-amhluidh  sin  a  bhios  sinn  foi 
ghrasaibh  Mhic  Dhonuil  Duibh  Mh6ir  a  Lochai  Sir  (tir  ?)  Ailein 
nan  creach  o'n  Chorpaich. 

Mu  'n  t-Sniomhacha. 

Tha  na  caileaga  'n  trasa 
Ga  'n  saruch  le  cuigeil 
Edir  latha  Fheill  Sraide 
'S  la  Fheill  Padruig  le'n  dusan. 
'S  tosach  driochain  san  fhajdoichT 
Ma  bhios  failing  an  cut  deth, 
Is  ole  a  fhuair  thu  le  d'  mhainne 
Gun  mo  mhalsa  bhith  cuideachd. 

'S  m6r  iargain  do  mhail  dhomh, 
'S  e  dh'  fhag  sream  air  mo  shuilean, 
Seach  'n  uair  ghoireadh  an  coileach, 
'S  ann  bbiodh  an  oirionn  ga  m'  dhusgadh. 
Rachadh  chrois  ud  a  tharruing 
'S  bhiodh  i  ealamh  gu  cunntadh, 
'S  mur  biodh  an  dusan  re  taraing 
Bhiodh  Jm  am  chairis  ga  dhunadh. 

1  This  is  one  of  the  famous  M'GilloDy  Camerons  of  v  Strone,  Lochaber. — J.  K. 

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224  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

Bhiodh  tu  d'  chairis  gu  dhunadk 
'S  beag  sunt  th'  ort  ga  ionnsuidh, 
Caitheadh  min  agus  m6ine 
Air  do  thoin  re  a  gheamhruidh, 
'S  m6r  mo  ruith  ris  a  ghiumhas, 
'S  goirt  mo  shiubbal  d'a  ionnsuidh, 
Ga  mo  phronnadh  ga  choisneadh 
Ann  an  clodach  cruaidh  lainteach 

'S  m6r  t-iomradh  mu  ghiumhas 

'S  m6r  do  bhruighinn  mu  mh6ine, 

Cha  ludh'  do  chuid  iargain 

Mu  m'  bhiadh  diomhain  Dia-d6mhnu 

'S  ann  a  bhios  tu  gam  tharruing  (ag  gearan) 

Anns  gach  ait  am  bith  comhdhail ; 

'S  mar  f  hairche  re  taming 

Ga  m*  shir  sparradh  an  comhnuidh 

Feadai  nise  do  sparradh 
Cha  ghabh  thu  fall  us  na  naire, 
Ged  tha  muinntir  a'  bhaile 
Toirt  an  aire  do  d'  ghnathach 
'S  am  a  bhios  tu  gad'  gharadh 
'N  am  tarruing  an  t-suaine, 
'S  mise  a  fhuair  an  cnap-starra 
Nach  duin  bealach  mo  mbail  domh. 

Dhuininn  bealach  do  mhail  duit 

Nam  biodh  tu  samhach  do  d'  bhruidhinn, 

'S  ann  a  bhios  tu  gam'  naraeh 

Anns  gach  ait  am  bith  buidheann. 

Ach  thig  oirne  an  samhradh 

Agus  am  dol  &'  an  ruidhe, 

Sin  fagaidh  mise  dhrandan, 

'S  gheabh  mi  aon  ratha  sughach. 

Ged  is  sughach  an  samhradh 

Cha  'n  ann  gu  tamh  'tha  air  6rdach' ; 

Ach  bhi  bisidh  re  cuibhle, 

'S  'cur  gach  ni  mar  bu  ch6ir  dha, 

Sniomh  cl6th  agus  cath-dath, 

'S  'cur  na  plaide  an  6rdugh, 

'S  'nuair  a  gheabh  mi  thu  dhathigh 

Bithidh  tu  'm  fasta  'san  e6rna 


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Unpublished  Gaelic  Ballads.  225 

'Nuair  a  gheabh  thu  mi  dhathigh 
Cha  toir  thu  caidridh  na  lamh  dhomh, 
Ach  gam  chnamh  's  gam  shlr-chagnadh 
0  n'  tha  e  agad  mar  natur  ! 
Tha  bhliadhna  so  fada 
'S  cha  'n  'eil  teireachd  gu  ceann  oirr* 
Ach  's  math  am  modh  a  bhi  samhach 
O  na  thaine  mi  t-ionnsuidh. 

0  na  thaine  tu  m'  ionnsuidh 

Bha  thu  mall  an  cois  gniomha, 

Bha  thu  dian  an  cois  cutoig 

'S  tu  thrusadh  am  biadh  leat 

'Nuair  a  thigeadh  an  t-aran 

'S  ann  a  bhiodh  an  gallop  air  t'  fhiacail 

'S  ge  do  bhithinn  s'  ga  cheannach 

Bhiodh  tu  'n  ain-iochd  ga  chriochadh. 


A  Bhban  Uinsinn  Odhar. 

'S  beag  an  t-iongnadh  dhuit  bhith  br6nach 
'N  uair  a  chaidh  thu  lea  a  phbsadh 
5G  amharc  air  na  mearaibh  mora 
'S  air  na  cr6gan  uinsinn, 

Agad  tha  'bhean  uinsinn  odhar, 
Ud,  ud,  a  'bhean  uinsinn  odhar, 
Agad  tha  'bhean  uinsinn  odhar 
'S  a'  bhean  odhar  uinsinn. 

'S  ann  agad  tha  'n  aghaidh  lacunn, 
'S  an  smig  a  ghearradh  na  clachan ; 
Da  shuil  uain'  air  dhreach  na  lasrach 
Ann  do  chlaigionn  uisinn 

'N  uair  a  theid  i  chum  na  h-airidh 
Cha  dean  i  calanas  no  stath  dhuit ; 
Millidh  i  t'  im  is  do  chaise 
Leis  na  crogan  puinsin. 

'N  uair  a  theid  thu  chum  a'  chlachain 
Cha  bhith  do  leithid  re  fhaicinn, 
Ch'  uile  fiacail  ann  do  chlaigionn 
Cho  fhad  re  cabar  uinsinn. 


15 

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226  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

N'  uair  a  thekl  thu  chum  na  feille 
Cha  'n  fhaic  thu  do  leithid  fhein  aim  : 
Bithidh  na  ribeinin  's  an  leinnich 
Air  na  feithibh  uinsinn. 


0  Ian  Mac  Neill  k  Barra. 

Leis  a'  Bhearrtha  (February)  cuir  da  aon, 

A  leith  's  a'  Mhairt,  dha  's  an  April, 

Triuir  's  a'  Mhai  do  d'  mheanmna, 

Cearthar  's  a  luin  na  co-leanmhuinn, 

Cuig  le  Iuli  a's  glan  grian, 

'S  le  August  ni  'n  droch  ciall ; 

Iarr  a  h-ochd  le  September, 

Ochd  le  October. 

Nobhember  da  chuig  gun  chol, 

December  deich  a  dhiithear, 

Aois  do  reitheach  a  ta 

An  so  (lo  ?)  d'  an  mhi  's  an  Epac. 

0  Dhunachai  Mac  Mhaol-Domhncjich. 

Far  mile  agus  chuig  ceud, 

Cunt  sud  na  naoi-deug, 

Linn  na  corra  bhliadhna  mar  sin 

Uibhir  oir  na  bliadhna  sin. 

Airthear  leat  an  uibhir  oir 

Aon  uair  deug  's  ni  dol  ea-coir, 

Ag  deanamh  thriachad  dhuibh  gu  beachd 

Am  bi  da  eis  an  Epac. 

Suim  dh  mhios  o  Mhart  amhain, 

An  Epac  's  an  la  do  'n  mhi 

Os  cionn  tri  clieud  fui  ge  b'e, 

Aois  do  reithe  dhe  do  ni. 


Nionag  a*  Chota  Bhuidhe.       (Jas.  M 'Lagan): 

i. 
Tha  nighean  hall  ud  na  suighe 
Da  'n  tug  mise  gaol  mo  chroidhe  ; 
Gad'  bhiodh  an  abhainn  'na  siubhal 
Kachainn  fein  am  ruidh  a  nunn. 


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Unpublished  Gaelic  Ballads.  227 

A  nionag  a'  chota  bhuidhe 

Deansa  suidhe  cuide  reom  (rium) 

A  nionag  a'  chota  bhuidhe 
Chota  bhuidhe,  chota  bhuidhe 
A  nionag  a'  chota  bhuidhe 
(do-reom)  var.      Dh*  fheuda'  tu  suidheadh  learn. 

ii. 
Gad  budh  leomsa  Leos  is  Uibhist, 
Is  na  h-Earadh  cuide  riubha, 
Bheirinn  sud  uam  is  a  thuille 
Air  chota  buidhe  leis  na  bh'  ann. 

in. 
Ged'  budh  leomsa  do  fheudail, 
Na  h-edir  so  is  Dun-eidinn, 
Gu  'n  tugainn  thairis  dhoibh  fein  e, 
Chionn  thu  bhith  'g  &righ  cuide  riom. 

IV. 

Ged'  bhithinn  air  bord  am  shuidhe 
Far  am  biodh  ceol  agus  bruidhinn, 
B'  fhearr  leom  na  clairseach  is  fidheall 
An  cota  buidhe  leis  na  bh'  ann. 


Na  'm  faighinnse  toil  na  Cl&re, 
T"  athar  's  do  chairdin  le  cheile, 
Luidhinn  leat  as  do  l&ne, 
'S  cha  bhiodh  ar  n-&righ  ach  mall. 

Ged'  bhiodh  do  mhathair  an  gruaim  reom 
Is  t*  athair  air  tldh  mo  ruagaidh, 
Cha  tug,  is  cha  tabhair  mi  fuath  do 
Dh'  ainnir  shuairc  nan  rosg  mall. 

VII. 

Mur  dean  t*  athair  reomsa  r&te 
Ni  mi  tuille  mor  ga  eacoir, 
Th&d  mi  edir  thu  's  do  l&ne 
Gun  toil  na  Cl&re  bhith  ann. 


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228  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

Lb  Mr  Aonab  Morasan. 

'N  uair  (n'ar)  shuidheas  a*  choir  gun  cheart 

'S  iad  a  ni  bheirt  chlaon  ; 

Cha  bhi  Mac-Caonaich  gun  mhart, 

A  fad  sa  bhios  an  c-  na  mhnaoi. 

Oran   a   rinnbadh  do  Mhac  Dhomhnuill   Shlbitb  a  dh'  bug 

ANN  AN   LUNDUINN  AG  CoMHNADH   TbAGHLAIGH   LANCASTER. 

Ged'  tha  'n  oidhche  nochd  fuar, 

'S  beag  air  chadal  mo  luaidh, 

'S  cha  'n  e  tainid  no  fuairid  m*  eididh. 

Ach  bhith  'g  acain  an  laoich, 

Da  'm  bu  Shuaicheantas  Fraoch, 

'S  e  mo  chreach  nach  do  fhaod  thu  eirigh. 

Le  do  chuilbhir  caol  glas, 

Nach  diultadh  an  t-srad, 

'S  a  leagadh  damh  bras  an  t-sleibhe. 

Ann  an  Sasgan  fo  'n  uir, 

A  dh'  fhag  mi  *n  tasgaidh  mo  ruin 

Ann  an  caibeall  nan  Tura  gle-gheal, 

Ann  ciste  dhaingeann  nam  b6rd,    . 

'N  deis  a  sparradh  le  h-6rd, 

A  ghaoil,  cha  duisgear  le  ceol  nan  teud  thu. 

Am  baile  Lunduinn  nan  cloc, 
A  dh'  fhag  mi  urra  mo  le6in, 
'S  leat  bu  doilghich  e  Dhomhnuill  Sheitich1 

A  High  gur  mis'  tha  fo  sproc, 

'S  each  mu  t'  fhearann  ag  trod, 

'S  a  ghaoil  nach  suidhich  thu  cnoc  da  'n  r&teach. 

Och,  0  Kigh  is  beag  mo  luaidh, 

A  dhol  do'n  Dairre  so  shuas, 

Far  an  oluinnteadh  a  chuach  's  a  Cheitinn 

'S  mis'  a  chunnaic  do  Chuirt, 

Lan  do  mhire  *s  do  mhuirn  ; 

Tha  nois  inneal  do  chiuil  gun  ghleus  orr\ 

1  Shl&tich. 


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The  Gaelic  Dialect  of  Arran.  229 

Var.  'S  mis'  a  chunnaic  do  cbiiirt, 

'S  i  gun  mhire  gun  mhuirn, 
Agus  inneal  do  chiuil  gun  ghleus  orr'. 

'S  maith  thigeadh  bonaid  o'n  bhuth, 

Air  agbaidh  sboilleir  mo  ruin, 

Cota  Lunduinneacb  du-ghorm  eutrom. 

Ann  Tigb  lagba  'm  biodb  cuirt, 

Far  m*  bu  radharcach  thu, 

Cha  bu  cbladbaire  cbunntagb  f&ch  ort. 


11th  FEBRUARY,  1807. 

At  tbe  meeting  tbis  evening,  Mr  John  Wbyte  read  a  paper 
contributed  by  Kev.  Charles  M.  Robertson,  Inverness,  on  "  Arran 
Gaelic  Dialect."     The  paper  was  as  follows : — 

THE  GAELIC  DIALECT  OF  ARRAN. 

Tbe  more  prominent  features  of  the  Gaelic  spoken  in  Arran 
are  among  the  vowels  the  attenuation  of  a  and  ao  with  tbe  accom- 
panying development  of  a  semi-vowel  w,  and  the  partiality  shared 
with  Irish  for  i,  in  lieu  of  ui ;  among  the  consonants  the  preval- 
ence as  in  the  islands  of  Argyll  of  the  unaspirated  sound  of 
•slender  n,  the  loss  of  slender  cA,  as  in  Irish  and  Manx,  the 
occasional  attenuation  of  the  mediae  and  of  bh  and  mh  (as/),  the 
hardening  of  final  dh  and  gh  with  broad  vowels,  and  an  absence 
as  compared  with  northern  dialects  of  vocalisation.  Bh  and  mhx 
for  example,  under  the  last-named  feature,  as  a  rule,  receive  their 
full  value,  viz.,  v  not  u  or  nil,  as  in  arbhar,  ruamhair,  geamhradh, 
samhradh,  &c. ;  it  might  not  be  correct  to  say  that  they  retain 
their  v  sound,  as  the  pronunciation  "  cavasair"  (and  "  cavastair") 
of  cabhsair,  from  English  causey,  would  alone  suggest  the  possi- 
bility of  a  re-development  of  the  v  sound.  Slender  dh  and  gh 
at  the  end  of  a  syllable  which  are  sounded  on  the  West  Coast 
generally  are  silent  in  Arran  (except  in  one  word,  an  deidh).  The 
phonetic  tendencies  in  general  are  at  a  less  advanced  stage  than 
in  more  northern  dialects  ;  witness  Sasgunn  for  Sasunn,  nunn  for 
null.  The  elision  or  loss  of  slender  ch  even  may  be  a  proof  not  of 
a  swifter  but  of  a  slower  advance,  for  the  suggestion  has  been 
made,  and  not  without  facts  seeming  to  countenance  it,  that  the 
pronunciation   in   modern    Scottish   Gaelic   of    that   sound   is  a 


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230  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness 

re-development  and  not  a  retention  of  the  old  pronunciation.  The 
pronunciation  of  ao  may  also  be  an  instance  of  the  retention  of 
older  sounds.  The  position  that  the  vowel  variously  represented 
of  old  by  de,  di,  6e,  6i,  and  now  by  ao  (and  eu  sometimes),  has 
changed  in  representation  only  and  not  in  sound,  as  Professor 
Khys  seems  to  hold  (Manx  Prayer  Book),  is  hardly  tenable  in 
view  of  the  great  diversity  of  pronunciations  in  modern  Gaelic, 
both  in  Ireland  and  in  Scotland.  The  probability  is  that  there 
was  like  diversity  in  the  old  language,  and  that  not  only  in 
different  dialects  but  at  different  periods,  as  is  suggested  by  the 
fact  that  de,  di  are  more  general  in  Old  Irish,  while  de,  di  are 
more  frequent  in  Early  Irish. 

Natives  of  Arran  recognise  three  dialects,  viz.,  Northend, 
Shiskine,  and  Southend.  Northend  Gaelic  is  more  like  Kintyre 
Gaelic  than  the  others  are.  It  is  Southend  Gaelic  that  is  specially 
dealt  with  in  the  following  pages.  The  use  made  of  "  Northend," 
"Shiskine,"  or  "Southend"  is  to  limit  the  statement  with  which 
the  word  is  associated  to  that  particular  dialect.  When  no  such 
limitation  is  made,  Shiskine  and  Southend  dialects  are  understood 
to  agree,  as  does  also  the  Northend  in  many,  probably  in  most 
oases.  The  divergences  between  Shiskine  and  Southend  consist 
of  little  more  than  the  application  or  non-application  of  common 
principles  in  particular  instances,  and  the  same  may  be  true  of 
the  Northend  also.  The  nearest  approach  to  a  difference  of  prin- 
ciple is  the  treatment  of  mh  after  Mac  in  surnames  in  which  it  is 
attenuated  at  Shiskine  (Mac  Faolain,  Mac  Furchaidh,  <fec),  and 
elided  at  the  Southend  (Mac  'Aolain,  &c). 

Some  characteristics  are  recorded  which  are  not  peculiar  to 
this  dialect  alone,  but  only  such  as  are  more  or  less  local  and 
limited  in  their  range.  Among  other  pleas  that  might  be  urged 
in  favour  of  that  course,  the  representation  cf  the  dialect  is  more 
complete  and  the  determination  of  the  range  of  such  character- 
istics is  facilitated. 

In  the  phonetic  re-spelling  of  words  the  letters  are  meant  to 
have  their  standard  Gaelic  values,  e.g.,  u  means  the  sound  of  u  in 
Gaelic  "guth,"  of  oo  in  English  "food;"  i  means  that  of  i  in 
Gaelic  "  sith"  and  in  English  "  piano."  Vowel  sounds  that  differ 
only  in  length,  e.g.,  u  and  u,  i  and  \.  &c,  have  not  been  separ- 
ately treated,  but  are  distinguished  in  the  usual  Gaelic  way. 
Apostrophes  are  used  in  room  of  silent  letters,  especially  of  vowels 
whose  sole  use  in  the  word  is  to  stand  between  a  broad  consonant 
and  a  slender  vowel,  e.g.,  s'im  for  suim,  or  between  a  slender 
consonant    and   a   broad    vowel,    e.g.,   t'anga   for    teanga.     The 


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The  Gaelic  Dialect  of  Arran.  231 

suppressed  slender  ch  is  represented  sometimes  by  an  apostrophe, 
sometimes  by  gh.  The  mark  ?  indicates  that  the  vowel  over 
which  it  is  placed  is  nasalised. 

a. 

The  vowel  a  has  two  sounds,  open  and  close,  though  the  differ- 
ence is  less  marked  than  in  the  case  of  o  and  e.  The  close  sound 
is  usually,  if  not  always  associated  with  the  liquids,  as  seems  to 
be  the  case  also  in  Manx.  In  Arran  the  close  sound  is  found 
before  m,  a  double  liquid,  or  a  liquid  and  mute,  excepting  r 
followed  by  g,  b.  or  bh,  e.g.,  amadan,  cam,  ball,  gann,  barr  earn, 
<lalma,  calg,  bard,  gart.  So  also  la  (day),  adhlac,  balach,  parant, 
prab  (rheum  in  the  eye),  prat  (a  tantrum).  So  damh,  samhradh, 
but  not  lamh,  namhaid. 

The  open  sound  of  a,  except  in  combination  with  other  vowels, 
is  rare  in  accented  syllables,  e.g.,  gabh  and  agus,  but  is  always  the 
sound  of  the  diminutive  suffixes  ag,  an.  In  the  combinations  ia, 
ua,  ai,  a  has  its  open  sound,  e.g.,  biadh,  fiadh,  ruadh,  tuagb,  aird, 
aimsir,  aingidh,  faidhidinn  (patience),  cainnlear  (candlestick), 
saighead,  saighdear,  aig,  saibhir,  E.  Ir.  saidber  (risk),  gairid,  0.  Ir. 
garit  (short),  an  rair  (last  night).  Ai  in  those  examples  is  a 
diphthong,  i  being  distinctly  sounded  except  in  aird  and  gairid. 

In  other  accented  positions  a  has  the  sound  of  Gaelic  open  e, 
English  a  in  "care,"  "fare,"  or  e  in  "less,"  which  gives  in  Arran 
pronunciation  a  perfect  rhyme  with  "  cas"  in  the  local  verse — 

"  Nevertheless 
Na  bris  do  chas 
A  ruith  do  chearc 
Di-Domhnaigh." 

In  the  poems  of  the  Kev.  Peter  Davidson,  of  Brodick  (Glasgow : 
Wm.  Munro,  81  Virginia  Street),  who  was  a  native  of  Arran,  that 
sound  gives  many  of  the  rhymes,  e.g.,  lamh,  neamh  (p.  35),  snamh, 
sgeimh  (p.  105),  which  rhyme  together  perfectly.  The  sound 
being  that  of  open  e,  may  be  conveniently  called  slender  a. 

The  influence  of  i  in  preserving  the  broad  sound  of  a  is  not 
confined  to  the  digraph  ai,  but  may  be  exerted  from  the  following 
syllable,  especially  if  liquids  are  present,  e.g.  :  abair,  abhainn, 
Samhainn,  aluinn  (Northend  e'lainn),  cathair,  athair,  mathair, 
brathair,  lathair,  abuich,  abhaist,  athais.  Such  words  as  anail, 
acuinn,  pronounced  e'na'l  (Manx  ennal),  e'ca'ng,  are  exceptions 
more  seeming  than  real,  however,  as  i  is  not  the  sounded  vowel  of 
the  second  syllable.  Broad  a  is  restored  also  whenever  i  is  intro- 
duced, and  is  made  slender  whenever  i  is  thrown  out  in  inflection, 


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232  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

&c,  e.g.,  a  is  broad  in  the  accented  syllables  of  the  nominatives 
athair,  mathair,  brathair,  nathair,  in  the  genitive  cail,  in  the 
plural  naimhdean,  in  slainte,  aige,  aice,  but  slender  in  the  genitives 
athar,  mathar,  brathar,  nathrach,  in  the  nominative  cal,  and  the 
singular  namhaid,  in  slan,  agam,  agad,  and  also  againn,  agaibh, 
although  g  is  elided.  In  naire  a  is  broad,  but  in  nairich,  perhaps 
better  naraich,  it  is  slender. 

In  a  few  instances  ai  is  close  e,  viz.,  maille,  airean  (plough- 
man), cait  (oblique  case  of  cat),  caibe  (a  spade) ;  it  is  nasal  e  in 
bainis  (or  banais)  and  bainnse,  and  in  caith  (wear,  use).  The 
remarkable  thing  is  that  in  several  other  dialects  a  never  is 
sounded  as  e  except  in  the  digraph  ai. 

Another  peculiarity  of  Arran  Gaelic  is  associated  with  that 
slender  a  and  with  ao,  which  also  is  a  slender  vowel  in  Arran,  viz., 
the  development  of  a  w  sound  between  the  altered  vowel  and  the 
preceding  consonant,  .plain  or  aspirated,  especially  b,  f,  p,  I,  m,  n 
before  a  long  vowel,  e.g.,  bata,  ban,  fas,  Papa,  Ian,  mag,  mal,  mam, 
mathair,  namhaid,  nadur,  naraich.  The  use  of  w  as  the  symbol  is 
apt  to  give  an  exaggerated  impression  of  the  sound,  which  is 
better  described  as  a  very  short  o,  and  may  be  reproduced  by 
inserting  such  an  o  between  the  consonant  and  the  slender  a 
sound.  In  the  case  of  short  a  the  sporadic  sound  sometimes 
obscures  the  vowel  of  the  syllable,  so  that  a  is  apt  to  be  taken  for 
o,  whence  we  have  such  representations  of  Arran  Gaelic  as 
"moith''  for  "  maith,"  "fola"  for  "fada."  The  true  sound, 
however,  is  o-e  open.  The  same  sporadic  sound  is  found  in  one 
instance  where  the  vowel  is  open  e,  viz.,  in  the  phrase  "co 
mbeud." 

An  explanation  of  the  phenomenon  has  been  suggested  by  Mr 
John  Whyte.  The  broad  sporadic  vowel  is  required  as  a  stepping- 
stone  between  the  consonants,  some  of  which  are  themselves 
broad,  and  all  formerly  followed  by  a  broad  vowel,  and  the  now 
slender  vowel.  It  is,  in  short,  the  old  broad  sound  of  a  still 
asserting  its  influence  upon  the  consonant. 

The  feature  suggests  comparison  with  the  w  found  with  the 
broad  vowels  in  Manx,  e.g.,  mwaagh,  a  hare ;  bwoirryn,  a  female ; 
twoaie,  the  north,  where  w  has  the  same  sound  as  u  or  w  in  such 
English  words  as  "quick,"  "dwindle"  (Rhys'  Manx  Prayer  Book, 
II.,  58).  Compare  also  the  Manx  moir,  mother ;  moddey,  a  dog, 
which  were  formerly  written  meier,  moaddy,  and  baa,  formerly 
bu6,  genitive  of  booa,  a  cow. 

It  seems  to  be  a  somewhat  similar  sound  that  is  intended  by 
h  in  Macalpine's  phonetic  representation  of  the  words  math, 
mathair,  buidhinn,  namely,  mha,  mhahyer,  bhiie-enn. 


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The  Gaelic  Dialect  of  Arran.  233 

As  in  the  other  dialects,  there  is  sometimes  an  interchange  of 
a  and  o.  In  the  substitution  of  a  for  o  in  such  words  as  cas, 
cadal,  facal,  &c,  Arran  follows  Scottish  Gaelic ;  so  fad,  a  peat, 
not  fbid ;  gallan-gaoithe,  a  swallow  ;  and  the  borrowed  words 
afaig,  an  office  or  position,  Argyllshire  ofaig ;  searmainn  (not 
searmoinn),  sermon  (Southend) ;  lad,  a  load ;  baban,  a  bobbin  -r 
and  Southend  cadan,  cotton. 

It  is  o  on  the  other  hand  in  sporr-an-tighe,  the  rafters  (South- 
end) ;  doingean,  Shaw's  doimhean,  deep ;  trosnan  (Southend),  a 
crutch,  for  trosdan,  from  trast ;  mollachd,  a  curse,  and  verb 
niollaich;  and  also  in  smot,  a  bite,  a  mouthful;  bolgum,  a 
mouthful  of  liquid ;  bos,  in  the  sense  of  "  a  slap,"  0.  Ir.  bossr 
palm  of  the  hand  ;  tochraisg,  wind  (yarn) ;  boiche  (Southend),  but 
also  baiche  and  bathaigh  (ba'i),  a  byre ;  fomhair,  a  giant,  Irish 
fomhor,  E.  Ir.  fomor.  Roimh,  troimh,  gheibh,  falbh,  may  be 
noted  here  also.  The  tirst  two,  which  have  ei  in  some  dialects, 
are  both  pronounced  alike,  ro.  The  latter  two  are  gheo  (close  o)  ; 
folbh. 

o. 

0  has  its  open  sound  in  cota,  le6ghann,  pchd,  ooda-ban  (four- 
penny  piece) ;  foirfeach  (an  elder),  brollach  (breast),  folbh  (for 
falbh)  ;  compaid  (company),  Shaw's  compailt  and  Macalpine's- 
compairt  (partnership).  It  has  its  close  sound  in  obainn,  olainn, 
sroin,  lodan  (puddle),  loch,  lothag  (a  filly),  solas  and  clo  (thick 
cloth).  The  words  m6r  and  m6ran,  as  is  very  generally  the  case,, 
have  the  vowel  close,  except  when  they  are  emphatic,  and  then  it 
is  open.  Thoir  (give)  has  close  o  except  in  the  interrogative  and 
subjunctive  forms,  in  which  o  is  open. 

Open  o  is  found  in  place  of  u  in  molt,  a  wedder  (Southend)  -r 
rogaid,  a  slattern  ;  rogadh,  rough  handling  ;  mosach,  nasty  ;  boin, 
belong  to ;  oircean,  a  young  pig ;  oidheam,  accoutrements ;  and 
also  in  s6rd,  condition,  with  its  derivative  s6rdail ;  and  brothasr 
brose. 

On  the  other  hand,  it  is  not  o  but  u  in  one  or  two  words — uirrer 
on  her  ;  guiseag,  a  stalk,  from  goise ;  and  cnu,  or  as  it  is  pronounced 
cnutha,  a  nut. 

u. 

This  vowel  receives  somewhat  exceptional  treatment  ia  the 
following  words,  in  which  it  is  long  : — cnutha,  a  nut,  for  cnu  or 
end,  has  been  mentioned  already.  Similarly  burn,  water,  is 
bu'arna ;  gun,  gown,  is  gu'ann,  and  is  written  gughann  by  Mac- 
Alpine  ;  and  the  borrowed  word  bulas,  a  pot-hook,  is  bu'al,  written 
buthal  by  Shaw. 

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234  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 


The  Argyllshire  partiality  for  the  close  sound  of  e  appears  in 
Arran  in  the  words  teth,  leth,  leubh,  deng,  geug,  beuc,  peacadh, 
teas,  seas,  seasgann,  neasgann  (an  eel),  easbach  (regrettable), 
teaghlach,  reidh  with  its  derivatives.  In  reub,  ceithir,  sneaghan 
(an  ant),  the  vowel  is  open  e. 

The  Inverness-shire  tendency  to  pronounce  ea  as  ya  has  been 
remarked  by  Mr  Macbain  in  Badenoch  Gaelic,  but  it  is  only  a 
difference  of  degree  between  that  district  and  the  rest  of  Scottish 
Gaeldom,  with  the  exception  of  Lochaber,  where^  that  digraph 
always  has  the  sound  of  e  simply.  In  Arran  the  ya  sound  is 
found  in  searrach,  sealbh,  teann,  ceann,  greann,  geal,  which  Mr 
Macbain  cites  from  Badenoch,  and  also  in  beachd,  cleachd,  feachd, 
reachd,  sneachd,  deachaidh,  teanga,  dream,  feamrach  (seaweed), 
sealasdair  (yellow  iris),  leamh,  leamhragan,  leatha  (broader),  leatha 
and  leaiche  (with  her)  gleadh  (keep)  creadh  (clay),  one  pronuncia- 
tion of  geadh  (goose),  ceath  (cream),  seath  (six),  seathar  (six  men), 
breagh  (Northend,  as  in  Kin  tyre,  bre),  and  for  ei  in  ceirtle, 
meirleach  (so  Mac  Alpine  for  these  two).  So  also  sreathartaich  for 
sreothartaich. 

Ea  is  sounded  eo  in  treabh  (till),  geadh  (goose),  in  one  pro- 
nunciation geo'ach,  Mac  Alpine  ge-atfgh.  Earball  is  urball,  as  on 
the  West  Coast  generally.  On  the  other  hand,  rud,  a  thing  (Ir. 
rud  and  raod,  Manx  red,  0.  Ir.  ret),  is  read  ^  close  e)  short,  and 
rudacb,  kindly,  is  reudach  at  the  Southend. 


Some  dialects  have  i  in  certain  words,  where  others  have  e. 
Arran  takes  *,  and  extends  it  to  a  large  numbei  of  words,  e.g., 
a  miosg,  mios,  smior,  mil  for  a  measg,  meas,  smear,  "  nisi"  (honey). 
An  original  i  is  retained  in  sileadh,  Neacail,  eannchainn,  tionn- 
dadh,  ionnsaich  (pronounced  ios'i,  \  nasal),  Mac  a  Bhriuthain, 
ruig,  fiodh,  and  at  Southend  eadhon,  i'coinn,  liubhar,  li'har, 
pirnean  (a  "  pirn"),  where  e,  a,  u,  <fec,  may  be  heard  in  other 
dialects.  Let  it  be  observed  that  i  is  the  only  vowel  sound  in  the 
accented  syllables  of  the  examples  mentioned  and  to  be  mentioned 
in  this  connection. 

An  original  e  is  replaced  by  i  in  eirich  (Manx  iree),  meas, 
meag,  reannach  (a  mackerel),  meadar  (milk  pail),  reudan,  Eauruig, 
cuibhill,  pronounced  ci'all,  snaoisean,  to  which  add  measgadh, 
measa  (worse),  mean  (small),  where  an  original  i  became  e  at  an 
early  period.  So  deirge,  deilg,  and  other  ei  oblique  forms  of  ea 
words,  and  at  Shiskine  rionnag  (a  shooting  star),  Shaw  rinnag  for 


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The  Gaelic  Dialect  of  Arran.  235 

reannag.  In  sibhreag  a  fairy  i  represents  ia,  from  original  ei, 
according  to  Mr  Macbain. 

In  the  digraph  ui,  i  as  a  rule  suppresses  u,  e.g.,  thuige,  suim, 
cluinn,  ruith  (Shaw  rith),  pronounced  thige,  s'im,  <fcc,  without 
changing  the  broad  sound  of  the  preceding  consonant.  So  ciota 
(Shaw  also),  a  tub,  cf.  cudainn,  ciostag,  the  little  finger,  cf. 
cuisdeag,  and  the  loan  words  crup,  cuifean,  or  ceafan,  Scotch  coof, 
and  ciofanachd,  cuffing.  In  ludag,  little  finger,  ludallan,  a  hinge, 
Shiskine  ludan,  u  is  pronounced  at  the  Southend  as  i,  I  and  d 
retaining  their  broad  sound  ;  at  Shiskine  it  is  French  u,  which  is 
MacAlpine's  pronunciation. 

It  is  i  in  some  words  having  o  originally,  but  now  showing 
various  vowels,  e.g.,  oidhche,  suidh,  tuig,  cuimhne,  cuinge,  smuain, 
maoth  (tender),  a'on,  Di-h-aoine,  druim,  Cuimein,  Naoghas  (Angus), 
ceaird  (trade),  pronounced  cird,  and  Southend  struidheach 
(prt  digal). 

On  the  other  hand,  i  is  avoided  in  meadhon  (me'an,  open  e), 
uibhir  (u'ir),  sgiuirt,  English  "  skirt"  (sg'u'rt,  Gaelic  u  at  South- 
end, at  Shiskine  French  u),  Mac  Eanain  (M'Kinnon),  and  Claim 
Eanain.  This  last  suggests  that  the  name  was  received  through 
Lowland  Scotch.  Timchioll,  at  Shiskine  tiomall,  is  tiumall  at  the 
Southend. 

In  Ireland  the  usual  pronunciation  of  the  digraph  ui  (and  also 
of  to)  as  in  duine,  cnuic,  nisge,  is  that  of  English  i  in  "hit,"  "  fill." 
Oidhche  is  pronounced  in  Ireland  as  it  is  in  Arran.  In  Manx  oie 
(night)  is  in  one  pronunciation  simply  Gaelic  "  I,"  and  we  may 
also  note  dreeym  (back),  riiym,  I  shall  run,  and  jirgid  (redness). 

Druim  is  very  generally  pronounced  dr'im  in  Scottish  Gaelic. 
Compare  also  uireas  and  ioras. 

ao. 

The  sound  given  to  this,  the  most  variable,  vowel  in  the 
language,  is  that  of  Gaelic  close  e,  the  same  sound  as  occurs  in 
English  "  whey,"  and  it  is  the  same,  except  in  some  instances  in 
length,  whether  it  represents  an  older  ae,  ai,  oi>  or  a  past  or 
present  agh,  adh,  &c.  For  example,  the  vowel  sound  of  the 
accented  syllable  of  teaghlach  is  e,  and  of  lagh,  laghach,  aghaidh, 
ad  hare,  ladhar,  rogha,  &c,  is  the  short  sound  of  the  same  close  e. 
The  tendency  to  that  sound  is  so  strong  that  natives  of  Arran 
who  try  to  follow  the  Northern  pronunciation  give  ao  the  sound 
of  e,  e.g.,  in  foghlum,  North  faolum,  Arran  folum. 

The  same  close  e  sound  takes  the  place  of  oi  in  those  words  in 
which  that  digraph  receives  the  sound  of  ao  in  some  dialects,  e.g., 


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236  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

oillt,  coille,  coileach,  boile  (madness),  toill,  coinneal,  oighre, 
soitheach.  At  Shiskine  the  vowel  of  the  numeral  aon,  viz.,  e,  is 
retained  in  onrachd  and  its  derivative  dnrachdach. 

The  sporadic  w  or  o  developed  before  this  pronunciation  of  ao, 
has  been  referred  to  under  a.     Instances  are  laogh  and  lagh. 

In  Arran  poetry  there  are  numerous  instances  of  ao  rhyming 
with  6  (and  also  with  e  and  attenuated  a).     For  example — 

"  Mar  threudich  math  a  choimhdas  cruin  na  caoraidh, 
Innaltradh  nuadh  bhith's,  go  trie,  ag  iarridh, 
Chaoidhas  luchd  cailt,  luchd  seachrain  threoruichas, 
'S  an  oiche  ghleadhas,  *s  an  la  innaltras ; 
Na  uain  og  togidh  suas  'n  a  lamh  go  caomh, 
Gach  aon  ag  altram,  ann  a  uchd  mar  naomh  : 
Marso  mor-churam  do  an  chinadh  dhaon\ 
Gabhidh  Ath'r  caomh  nan  lin  a  tha  'n  ar  deidh" 

"  Faic  mic  us  nighana  tha  'n  diugh  gan  bhreith, 
Faic  feadh  do  chuirt  na  h  ail  a  tha  gan  bhith, 
Am  buidh'nan  cruin  ag1  eirich  air  gach  taobh, 
Ag  iarridh  beatha,  deonach  bhith  air  neamh. 
Faic  ducha  coimhach  gu  do  dhoirsa  teithadh, 
Trial  ann  do  shollus,  ann  do  theampul  feithadh  ;  . 
Ma  t'  altair  ghraonach  tha  na  riogha  cruin, 
Us  gibhta  trom  do  fhas  nan  Sabean." 

— Shaw's  Translation  of  Pope's  "  Messiah" 
vv.  49-56,  87-94  (a.d.,  1780). 

"  0  shiorruidheachd,  do  runaich  thu 
An  iompachadh  's  an  t-saogKl  ; 
?S  trid  umhlachd  agus  bas  do  Mhic 
An  deanamh  reidh  riut/em." 

— Davidson's  Poems,  p.  110. 

"  Cha  cbreidinn  faidhean  no  cairdean  De, 
Gu'n  gabhadh  Criosd  ri  neach  cho  bre'un  \ 
7S  ann  a  shaoil  mi  gu'm  feumainn  paigheadh 
Airson  an  t-saoibhreas  tha  iomlan  saorP 

— Gaelic  Poems  by  Alex.  Cook,  p.  14  (Glasgow  : 
W.  Munro,  80  Gordon  Street.     1882). 

The  peculiar  Gaelic  system  of  assonance,  it  may  be  remarked 
in  passing,  is  observed  in  the  last  quotation,  viz.,  De  and  gabh 
a  as  e  ;  paigh  and  saoibh  aoi  as  ai. 


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^J 


The  Gaelic  Dialect  of  Arran.  237 

The  Irish  pronunciation  of  ao  is,  as  in  Arran,  that  of  6,  except 
in  Connaught,  where  it  is  Gaelic  t,  and  in  Ulster,  where  it  is 
French  u.  The  Manx  pronunciation  is  nearly  that  of  French  eu 
in  "jeune,"  "peur." 

ia  and  ua. 

The  diphthong  ia  is  found  in  iarlas  at  the  Southend  and  in 
Shaw  (at  Shiskine  earlais)  arles,  and  in  ceud  but  not  in  riasladh, 
deug,  or  iad,  de'g,  e'd.  So  Manx  shey  jeig  (sixteen),  but  ceead 
(hundred).     As  already  noted,  a  is  open  in  those  diphthongs. 

Semi-  Vowels. 
The  semi-vowel  y  takes  the  place  of  initial  e  or  i,  followed  by 
a  broad  vowel  in  words  containing  liquids,  e.g.,  callach,  eolas,  ionn- 
drainn,  iuchair.  W  occurs  for  u  in  dawaireug  (accent  on  last 
syllable),  i.e.,  da-uair-dheug  (twelve  o'clock) ;  cf.  Irish  dareug 
(twelve  persons). 

Nasal   Vowels. 
The  accented  vowel  is  nasalised  in  faigh,  caith,  oidhche,  uchd, 
ubh,  ubhall,  crudha  (horse  shoe),  and  at  Shiskine  ith;  and  in 
fuaim,  stuaim,  gruaim,  guaim,  uam,  uainn. 

Consonants. 

The  partiality  which  we  have  seen  for  slender  vowel  sounds, 
associated  with  the  tendency  which  exists  to  attenuate  the  mediae, 
forms  perhaps  the  most  general  characteristic  of  Arran  speech. 
In  some  districts  the  sounds  of  the  language  seem  to  be  produced 
at  the  very  back  of  the  mouth  or  even  down  in  the  throat,  what 
is  described  as  taking  a  mouthful  of  one's  words ;  in  other 
districts  they  seem  to  be  produced  in  the  middle  of  the  mouth  ; 
in  Arran  the  attempt  seems  to  be  to  produce  them  in  the  extreme 
front  of  the  mouth,  and  to  squeeze  them  out  through  as  narrow 
an  opening  as  possible. 

A  common  effect  of  that  peculiarity  is  to  cause  the  tenues  to 
be  written  for  the  mediae.  It  may  be  for  that  reason  that 
*  brodail  appears  as  protail  in  Mr  Macbain's  Dictionary.  In  Shaw's 
Dictionary  we  find  piast,  a  worm  ;  peist,  a  worm,  beast,  monster ; 
peisteog,  a  little  worm,  all  with  p  f or  b  ;  ceis  for  gais  (loathing), 
ciotadh,  creatachan,  which  are  still  the  pronunciations  of  cioda 
(a  tub),  greadachan  (a  churn-staff).  So  b  and  d  in  beadaidh, 
Criosd,  coda-ban  (a  groat),  which  MacAlpine  also  pronounces  cota- 
ban  ;  brog  ;  and  g  in  geannaire  (hammer),  aingidh,  brogach, 
colagan  (collops),  and,  as  now  pronounced,  Shaw's  carruigag  (a 
pancake),  and  (at  Southend)  boga-leo,  bumpkin.  Druid  (starling), 
pronounced  truideag,  is  truid  in  Early  Irish. 


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238  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

The  v  sound  of  aspirated  b  and  m  is  similarly  attenuated 
occasionally,  e.g.,  fomhair  (giant),  siobhag  (a  straw),  sibhreag  (a 
fairy),  griobhach,  are  pronounced  fofair,  siofag  (so  in  Islay),  sifreag, 
griofach  (so  in  Kin  tyre).  Mac  Creamhan  (English  Crawford)  is 
'Ac  Creafan,  and  Mac  Mhurchaidh  is  'Ac  Furchaidh  at  Shiskine 
(at  Southend  'Ac  'Urchaidh). 

There  is  an  attenuation  or  explosive  enunciation  of  m  and  n 
also  in  initial  position.  In  some  cases  the  reverse  may  be  heard, 
as  in  cuirnean  (a  pin  head,  so  Irish),  pronounced  guirnean ;  taca, 
traon-ri-traon,  pronounced  daca,  drionaidh  dreun ;  cf.  blangaid, 
butan,  Biobull,  all  pronounced  with  initial  b,  not  as  in  some 
dialects  p.     At  Shiskine,  afaig  (for  oifig)  is  abhaig. 

The  Liquids. 

The  elision  of  m  and  mh  noticed  above  is  a  feature  in  the  use 
of  the  surnames  generally.  Mac  in  surnames  only  is  always 
pronounced  'ac,  whence  comes  Shaw's  word  "  ac,  a  son,"  which  is 
quoted  by  Armstrong,  e.g.,  Mac  Nicol,  now  Nicol  in  English,  is 
still  'Ac  RiocaiJ  in  Gaelic  ;  Mac  Mhuirich  is  pronounced  'Ac  'Uiri', 
at  Shiskine  'Ac  Fuiri,'  and  is  still  further  curtailed  in  the  English 
form  Currie.  Macintyre  suffers  at  the  Southend  still  greater 
abbreviation :  Iain  Mac-an-t-Saoir,  for  example,  is  simply  Iain 
t-Saoir.  The  usage  in  great  part  of  Argyllshire  is  much  the  same 
—  only  c  remains  of  Mac  in  surnames. 

Medially  mh  is  retained  more  often  than  in  other  dialects,  e  g., 
ruamhair,  fomhair  (giant). 

Finally  it  is  generally  retained  except  in  words  of  more  than 
one  syllable.  The  infinitives  deanamh,  caitheamh,  caramh,  and  at 
Southend  seasamh,  feitheamh,  end  as  in  Argyllshire  in  adh,  pro- 
nounced ag,  as  does  also  creideamh.  In  talamh,  ealamh,  falamh, 
claidheamh,  and  at  Shiskine  also  in  annamh,  ullamh,  coinneamh, 
britheamh,  aireamh,  seasamh,  feitheamh,  mh  is  retained.  It  is 
elided  in  the  ordinal  numbers  which  MacAlpine  writes  with  the 
termination  adh,  e.g.,  ceathramh,  pronounced  ceathro,  and  so 
written  by  Shaw  ;  so  also  theagamh,  except  when  followed  by 
gu'n,  when  it  is  theag'.  In  other  instances  in  which  mh  is  gone  at 
the  Southend,  a  has  either  the  sound  of  the  indistinct  vowel  (ao 
short),  as  in  annamh,  ullamh,  coinneamh,  and  an  alternative 
pronunciation  of  creideamh,  or  it  has  the  sound  of  Gaelic  short  u, 
as  in  aireamh,  britheamh,  and  an  alternative  pronunciation  of 
ealamh.     At  the  Northend,  seasav,  coinneav,  and  theago  occur. 

There  is  no  inserted  u  before  m,  nn,  11,  as  there  is  in  Northern 
Gaelic,  e.g.,  cam,  bonn,  toll,  pronounced  even  in  North  Argyll 
caum,  bounn,  toull. 


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The  Gaelic  Dialect  of  Arran.  239 

The  liquids  have  the  usual  sounds,  except  that  r  has  lost  its 
ui) aspirated  broad  sound.  According  to  Shaw,  I,  n,  r,  seem  to 
sound  as  if  reduplicated  in  places  of  aspiration ;  so,  labhram  (I 
speak),  labhair  mi  (I  spake),  pronounced  llabhair  mi  (Analysis,  pp. 
16,  17).  It  is  in  the  case  of  n  that  the  different  sounds  are  most 
easily  distinguished,  viz.,  the  plain  broad  n,  the  plain  slender  n, 
and  the  aspirated  n,  the  two  n's  not  being  distinguished  when 
aspirated,  i.e.,  when  standing  in  positions  in  which  other  con- 
sonants would  be  aspirated.  Slender  n,  however,  is  scarcely  ever 
aspirated,  to  use  a  convenient  expression,  except  in  initial  position. 
Medially  and  finally,  except  in  one  or  two  words,  such  as  fein 
(self),  sin  (that),  slender  n  has  the  sound  which  in  such  positions 
is  always  represented  in  Gaelic  by  a  double  n,  that  is,  the  sound 
ot  French  gn,  or  of  English  n  in  "vineyard  ;"  e.g.,  teine,  min,  and 
Southend  minig,  are  pronounced  as  if  they  were  teinne,  minn, 
minnig ;  so  also  cuimhnich,  cruithneachd,  and  at  Southend 
aoibhneas,  caoimhneas.  An  apparent  exception  is  minidh  (an 
awl),  which,  however,  seems  rather  to  be  mionaidh  ;  cf.  Mac- 
Alpine,  meanaidh,  Ir.  meanadh,  E.  Ir.  meanad.  Even  broad  n 
receives  the  pronunciation  of  slender  nn  in  mionaid  (a  minute), 
feun  (a  waggon),  eadhon  (namely),  and  in  the  phrases  "  air  'ar 
n-athais,"  "  air  'ur  n-athais,"  pronounced  minneid,  feinn  (a  "  load  "'), 
iocoinn  ;  and  in  the  suffix  -an  when  affixed  to  a  word  whose  final 
vowel  is  slender,  e.g.,  grainnean  (a  small  quantity),  cuirnean(  a 
pin  head),  pronounced  grainn'ainn,  guirn'ainn.  The  same  pro- 
nunciation is  given  to  that  suffix  by  MacAlpine,  and  if  we  may 
judge  from  his  examples,  firean,  uircean,  Ailpean,  with  the  restric- 
tion in  his  dialect  also  to  words  with  preceding  slender  vowel. 
We  may  note  here  also  that  the  Arran  pronunciation  of  slender  n, 
medial  and  final,  prevails  throughout  the  islands  of  Argyllshire. 

In  a  few  instances  broad  n  is  unaspirated,  viz.,  ionad  (a  place), 
Ir.  ionad  and  ionnad  ;  beachan  (a  bee),  gun  (a  gown),  pronounced 
gu'ann  in  Arran  and  in  Islay.  Sean,  old,  is  always  se'n,  nev-er 
seann  (syann).  The  aspiration  of  n  in  "  as  a  nodha  "  (anew)  s 
noteworthy. 

In  dona,  sona,  monadh,  muna  (see  conjunctions),  n  has  the 
soft  or  unaccented  sound  found  in  Di-Domhnaich  :  to  put  it 
otherwise,  the  words  are  pronounced  do-na,  mo-nadh,  &c.,  not 
don-a,  mon-adh,  &c. 

N  is  unusual  in  trosnan,  a  crutch  (so  Shaw),  influenced 
apparently  by  tarsnan,  the  more  common  trosdan  being  also  used> 
and  in  eugnais  (want,  defect).  The  word  for  maggot  is  cruinneag, 
evidently  for  cruimheag. 


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•240  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

N  appears  as  r  in  feamrach  (seaweed),  Shaw  and  E.  Ir. 
femnach,  and  in  the  verb  comanaich,  and  may  be  heard  as  I  in 
meanbh-chuileag,  pronounced  mile-chuileag  (accent  on  penult), 
and  at  the  Southend  in  braolan  (an  earth  nut),  and  mairseal  (a 
merchant).     On  the  other  hand  nunn  has  not  become  null. 

In  a  number  of  words  n,  nn,  or  ng  is  elided,  while  the  vowels, 
except  in  aisling,  retains  the  nasal  sound  : — eunlaith,  muinle 
(sleeve),  Eanraig,  onrachdan  and  onrachdach,  ionann  (i'ann), 
coinnlear,  innleachd,  innis,  ministear,  bainnse,  prainnseag,  ionga, 
iongar,  ceangail,  teanga,  aingeal,  aingeal  (fire),  daingean  (doi'ean), 
aisling  (aislea),  long  (loi),  meanglan  (me'lan),  is  at  Northend 
mea'ghlan,  just  as  in  Badenoch  and  other  districts  langan  is 
laghan.  The  same  reduction  of  ng  to  gh,  and  a  subsequent 
hardening  of  gh  into  g,  after  the  analogy  of  other  -agh  words, 
seem  to  be  the  steps  by  which  ng  has  become  g  in  coimhcheangal 
(coicheagal).  At  the  end  of  words  nn  is  preferred  to  the  g  found 
in  some  dialects,  e.g.,  cumhann,  tarrunn,  fuilinn,  with  infinitive 
a'  fulan,  not  cumhag,  tarrag,  fuilig,  fulag.  At  Shiskine  occur, 
however,  fuilig  and  bodhaig  (body),  the  latter  being  used  at  the 
Northend  also. 

In  Manx  aingeal  (in  both  senses)  is  aile,  and  onrachdan  oc3urs 
in  a  phrase  which  has  been  misunderstood,  viz.,  "  ny  lomarcan," 
alone  (Manx  Prayer  Book  II.,  14),  i.e.,  'n  a  lorn  onrachdan,  pro- 
nounced in  Arran  oragan,  lorn  being  merely  intensive,  as  in  loma 
Ian  (quite  full). 

A  substitution  of  nn  for  11  seems  to  be  the  explanation  of  the 
word  bainnigh,  a  factor.  M  in  lieu  of  I  appears  in  a  loan  word 
which  has  undergone  quite  a  number  of  mutations.  The  Latin 
pulpitum  is  pulpaid  (and  puilpid)  in  Shaw's  Dictionary,  pubaid  in 
Kintyre,  &c.  ;  cubaid  in  literature,  <fec. ;  cubaidh  in  Eoss-shire, 
cubainn  in  Lewis ;  in  Arran  it  is  pumpaid.  A  comparison  of  that 
form  with  strump  of  Shiskine,  Perthshire,  and  Macalpine,  from 
stroup,  tombaca  from  tobacco,  plang  from  plack,  and  Manx  cramp 
from  knapp,  does  not  tend  to  confirm  the  explanation  of  n  in 
buntata  as  a  piece  of  folk  etymologising.  It  is  rather  an  instance 
of  the  sort  of  reflex  action  that  is  so  often  found  alongside  of 
assimilation  and  other  processes  in  language.  Thus  when  the 
combinations  nd,  nt,  mb  (mp),  &c,  occur,  the  tendency  is  to  get 
rid  of  one  or  other  member,  but  when  only  one  member  occurs  it 
often  happens  that  the  other  member  is  arbitrarily  introduced,  as  - 
in  the  above  examples.  In  that  way  may  be  explained  the  Lewis 
cubainn.      Cubaid  first  became  cubainnd,  and  then  by  assimila- 


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The  Gaelic  Dialect  of  Arran.  241 

tion  cubainnd  became  cubainn,  and  so  may  be  explained  the 
frequent  substitution  of  n(n)  for  d  which  is  a  feature  of  Lewis 
Gaelic. 

An  interchange  of  I  and  m  appears  to  have  taken  place  in 
muirminn,  which  MacAlpine  writes  muirlinn  and  muirichlinn 
(edible  sea-weed,  dulse).  Shaw's  muiririn  (placed  after  muirn) 
may  be  a  misprint. 

There  is  I  for  r  in  compailt  (company),  so  Shaw ;  at  Southend 
oompaid  more  frequently ;  MacAlpine  compairt  (partnership) ;  at 
Shiskine  eilean  for  eirean  or  airean  (aoirean,  Macbain),  may  be 
heard  occasionally. 

r. 

This  consonant  has  its  broad  sound  in  an  uraidh  (last  year), 
Ir.  annuraidh,  and  urad,  so  Shaw  and  MacAlpine  for  uiread  (so 
much),  but  it  is  slender  in  airidh  for  araidh  (certain),  Ir.  airighe, 
M.  Ir.  airidhe ;  and  in  uirnigh  (uirnnigh),  prayer. 

The  Gutturals. 


The  sound  of  c  does  not  differ  according  as  it  is  initial  or  post- 
vocalic.  At  the  Southend  and  at  Shiskine  the  aversion  to  the 
hyper-guttural  sound  given  to  post-vocalic  c  in  some  dialects  is  so 
great  as  to  have  thrown  ch  out  of  a  few  words  in  which  it  has  a 
right  to  be,  viz.,  iochdar,  uachdar,  onrachd,  curachd,  pronounced 
iocar,  uacar,  onrac,  currrac ;  and  yet  in  casachdaich  (coughing), 
Ir.  casachdach,  the  ch  has  been  retained  where  the  other  dialects 
have  rejected  it.     Compare  also  frasachdach  (showery)  Southend. 

Medially  c  is  elided  in  piotar,  a  picture  (cf.  do'tair  for  doctair, 
"Cuairtear  nan  Gleann"),  and  occasionally  at  Southend  in  faicinn 
(seeing),  pronounced  fa'inn,  Manx  fakin,  and  also  fain ;  finally  it 
is  elided  in  chunnaic  (saw),  pronounced  thunnai. 

ch. 

Initial  ch  is  pronounced  A,  in  cha,  chaidh,  chunnaic,  in  Knap- 
dale  honnai,  in  Jura  hanna,  Manx  ha,  hie,  honnick.  Medially  it 
is  elided  in  deachaidh,  and  at  Southend  in  meille-chartan,  pro- 
nounced meileartan.  Ch  in  lieu  of  th  is  probably  universal  in 
dachaidh  and  gu  brath  (in  1408  charter,  gu  brach) ;  in  Arran  it  is 
found  in  lothag  (a  filly),  bothan,  feith,  pronounced  feach,  and 
Southend  triath,  in  which  three  Shaw  has  ch.  Compare  Mac- 
Alpine's  pronunciation  of  dluth,  maoth,  viz.,  dlugh,  maogh,  and 

16 


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242  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

mao,  and  the  Manx  bragh,  daghy,  myghin,  for  brath,  dath  (dye),* 
maothainn  (clemency). 

Slender  ch  is  h  in  chi.  Medially  and  finally  it  is  retained  in 
greannaichte  at  Southend,  doiliche  (more  difficult),  iche  (night),, 
Manx  oie,  duiche  (country),  baiche  (a  byre),  deich,  deicheanih, 
eich  (horses).  It  is  elided  in  fichead,  timchioll  (pronounced 
tiumall),  in  the  place-names  Bailemhicheil,  Cillmhicheil,  in  the 
passive  participle  of  ich  verbs,  as  beannaichte ;  in  the  other  parts 
of  those  verbs  medial  ch  is  broad,  as  beannachaidh  (will  bless)  \. 
cf.  flinne  and  Shaw's  flichne  (sleet),  also  Northend  dioll  for 
dtehioll. 

Final  ch  is  elided  whenever  and  wherever  it  comes  in  contact 
with  a  slender  vowel ;  in  adjectives,  as  doilich  ;  in  oblique  cases  of 
-ach  nouns,  as  coileach,  coilich  (v.  Shaw's  caoraidh  for  caoraich 
supra) ;  and  in  ich  nouns,  as  buainich,  a  reaper,  u  Picts,  na 
Cruinnith,"  Shaw ;  in  the  past  indicative  and  the  imperative  of 
-ich  verbs,  as  imich  (Southend),  Manx  imee,  ceannaich,  teich 
(written  teithadh  in  Shaw's  translation  of  Pope's  "Messiah,"  v.  91, 
quoted  above.  Even  ith,  so  generally  pronounced  ich,  is  as  often 
**  as  it  is  ich  in  Arran. 

It  is  substituted  for  th  in  snaithean  (a  thread),  maith,  bruith,. 
ruith,  raith,  suith  (pronounced  suiche,  Ir.  suithche,  M.  Ir.  suithe), 
laitheil  (daily),  Shaw  laichol ;  Thighearna,  pronounced  at  South- 
end Chiarna,  Manx  Chiarn  (cf.  Shaw's  ogchiern,  a  young  lord) ; 
and  at  Shiskine  in  gaoith.  MacAlpine  pronounces  all  except 
Thighearna  with  ch  ;  bruich  is  of  course  common,  and  maich  occurs 
in  Irish. 

It  even  takes  the  place  of  sh  in  the  two  phrases  "  car  mu 
chlios"  for  "  car  mu  shlios,"  upside  down  (of  clothes),  and  "  La 
chealg  na  cuthaige,"  also  "La  cheal'  na  cuthaige,"  "All  Fool's  Day," 
for  "  La  shealg  na  cuthaige,"  equivalent  to  the  Lowland  Scottish 
"  Hunt  the  Gowk." 

The  elision  of  final  slender  ch  in  the  oblique  cases  of  nouns 
prevails  in  Islay ;  MacAlpine  has  Di-Dcnaidh  Caisg,  s.v.  Caisg. 
It  has  been  elided  in  all  parts  of  speech  in  Manx  also ;  and  in 
Irish  it  is  represented  by  gh,  which  is  not  sounded,  e.g.,  Domhnaich 
is  Donee  in  Manx,  and  Domhnaigh,  pronounced  Domhnai  in  Irish. 
Initially  ch  slender  is  sounded  A  in  a  few  words  in  Manx,  e.g^ 
heeym,  I  see ;  medially  it  is  usually  elided,  and  that  is  the  case 
even  in  oie  for  oidhche,  where  it  was  enforced  by  dh.  In  Irish  it 
is  sounded  initially  and  medially  like  h,  or  rather  like  h  followed 
by  y,  e.g.,  Michael  is  pronounced  M\h-yal. 


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The  Gaelic  Dialect  of  Arran.  243 

9- 

In  conversation  g  is  usually  elided  in  again,  agad,  againn, 
agaibh,  and  in  Gilleasbuig,  Eanruig,  thainig,  "  Domhnach  Cas" 
(Easter  Sunday),  and  in  sealg  in  "  La  shealg  na  cuthaige."  It  is 
preserved  in  Sasgunn  though  not  in  Sasunnach.  In  some 
instances  it  has  become  t  or  d  after  s  at  the  end  of  a  syllable,  e.g., 
at  the  Southend  uisge  is  often  uiste,  and  at  the  Northend  brisg, 
loisg,  duisg,  sothaisgean  (a  primrose)  are  brisd,  loisghd,  duisd, 
sothaisdean  or  soisdean.  An  elision  of  g  in  the  passive  participle 
of  sg  verbs  is  common  to  other  dialects,  e.g.,  loiste,  ruiste  for 
loisgte,  ruisgte.  The  substitution  of  st  for  non-initial  sg  (sc)  is 
one  of  the  characteristics  of  Manx  Gaelic,  e.g.,  measgadh,  Soisgeul, 
Sasgunn  are  in  Manx  mastey,  Sushtal,  Sostyn.  Contrast  the 
North  Highland  cosg,  cosgus  for  cosd,  cosdus. 

At  the  Southend  cuideal  and  caidil  may  be  heard  occasionally 
for  cuigeal  and  caigil,  and  on  the  other  hand  cliug,  a  cuff  with  the 
fingers  (and  cliugaileis,  cuffing),  for  cliut,  or,  as  the  dictionaries 
have  it,  cliud. 

gh. 

Gh  final,  preceded  by  a  broad  vowel,  especially  if  the  vowel  is 
short,  is  pronounced  g  as  a  rule  in  substantives,  e.g.,  lagh,  dragh, 
seach,  sleagh,  and  Shaw's  triugh  (hooping-cough)  are  pronounced 
lag,  drag,  seag,  sleag  (with  a  as  ao),  and  driog,  Shiskine  triog. 
At  the  Northend  even  breagh  may  be  heard  as  breag.  At  Shiskine 
laogh  is  laog  {ao  as  ^),  which  occurs  in  the  local  place-name 
Glenlaeg  (Calve's  glen),  So  caithte-bhragaid  (King's  evil),  and  at 
Southend  agus. 

Elision  of  gh  occurs  in  aghaidh,  gartghlan  (to  weed),  and 
Ghilleasbuig,  pronounced  ao'i  (Manx  aoi),  gartlan,  and  ,Leasbui,, 
and  also  in  such  verbs  as  thagh,  leagh,  &c. 

Gh  is  of  course  generally  the  pronunciation  of  dh  when 
sounded,  and  is  in  Arran  pronounced  as  gh  is,  viz.,  g,  e.g.,  fiadh, 
fiodh,  geadh  are  flag,  fiog,  geag  (one  pronunciation).  So  also 
iodhal,  fionnadh  (hair),  reothadh  (frost),  and  at  the  Southend 
fiadhaich,  cradhach,  eadhon  (i'coinn),  which  are  at  Shiskine  fiVi, 
cra'ach,  e'ghon.  All  the  adh  terminations  of  subjunctive  and 
infinitive,  including  those  in  amh,  are  pronounced  ag,  e.g., 
ghabhadh,  gradhachadh,  gragachag.  Comhdhail  is  cohail. 
At  Shiskine  ubh  is  ug,  0.  Ir,  og.  Uaimh  (a  cave)  is  uagai  at 
Southend;  at  Shiskine  uav;  but  in  both  places  "Ua-Righ"  (ua, 
not  ua  nasal !),  the  King's  Coves  at  Shiskine.  There  is  ag  for  ibh 
also  in  mar  f  hiachaibh,  in  air  taillibh  at  Shiskine,  and  in  beulaobh, 


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244  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness 

fearaibh  at   Southend,    pronounced    fhiachag,    tailleag,   beulag, 
fearag,  also  fearagh. 

Final  gh  and  dh  preceded  by  a  slender  vowel,  the  pronunciation 
of  which  is  so  generally  characteristic  of  the  Hebrides  and  West 
Coast,  are  not  sounded  in  Arran.  There  is>  however,  one  instance 
at  the  Southend  in  the  oblique  forms  of  laoigh.  Used  as  a  term 
of  endearment,  that  word  has  four  pronunciations,  viz.,  laoi, 
laoigh  (ao  as  e),  16i,  and  ldigh. 

Dentah. 

In  contact  with  slender  vowels,  d  and  t  are  not  always  spirants. 
In  great  part  of  the  west  of  Ross-shire  they  are  sounded  in  such 
words  as  teid,  teine,  direach,  like  English  t  and  d  nearly,  and  not 
like  English  ch  and,/.  That  pronunciation  of  slender  t  prevails 
very  widely  in  the  case  of  the  words  taitinn  and  taitneach,  the 
second  t  being  sounded  as  t  in  English  "hit,"  and  not  as  ch  in 
"  chin."  The  ch  sound  may  be  heard  in  those  words  occasionally 
in  Arran,  but  the  English  t  sound  is  much  more  general  there. 
Another  development  has  taken  place,  both  at  the  Southend  and 
at  Shiskine  :  t  has  become  c,  the  words  being  usually  pronounced 
taicinn  (thaicinn,  taicnidh,  taicneadh),  and  taicneach. 

The  dentals  have  their  spirant  sounds  at  the  Southend  in 
some  instances  in  which  the  broad  sounds  are  usually  heard,  e.g., 
uait,  dhuit,  t*  fhirinn  (all  in  Kintyre  also),  maidinn  (so  Irish  for 
mad u inn),  boit  (boot),  air  t'  athais  (where  a  is  not  sounded  as  e). 
Baiteal,  on  the  other  hand,  is  batail,  and  poit,  pota  (so  Irish), 
plu.  potachan.  V.  seilisdeir,  also  sub.  The  assimilation  of  Id 
may  be  noted  in  the  loan  word  sgall  (so  Irish),  for  sgald  or  sgailt, 
to  scald. 


The  slender  sound  of  *  is  heard  in  iseal  (low)  and  treise 
(stronger),  so  MacAlpine  both ;  esan,  pronounced  eisean  (close  e), 
piseir  (pease),  uirsinn  (door-post),  deis  (ready),  dilis  (faithful), 
faileais  (shadow).  Shaw  has  failais  and  dilis.  On  the  other  hand, 
seilisdeir  is  seileasdair  (so  Shaw,  MacAlpine),  and  also  sealasdair ; 
and  suisd  is  susaid  as  in  Islay.  Such  divergences  are  not  unnsual 
in  the  case  of  those  and  of  other  consonants,  e.g.,  uaibhreach 
(Shaw,  MacAlpine,  <fec.),  and  brollach  (Shaw,  Skye,  Uist,  Early 
Irish),  compared  with  uabhrach  and  broilleach. 

The  characteristic  Manx  change  of  sg  at  the  end  of  a  syllable 
into  st  or  sd  has  been  noticed  under  g.  Another  change  occurring 
in  that  language  is  to  make  st  and  sd  at  the  end  of  a  syllable  into 


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The  Gaelic  Dialect  of  Arran.  245 

s.  There  is  an  instance  of  that  also  at  the  Southend  in  one  pro- 
nunciation of  Criosd,  viz.,  Iosa  Crios\  Compare  also  Lunas 
(Lammas)  for  Lunasd,  Manx  Lunys,  Ir.  Lughnas,  E.  Ir.  Liighnasad. 
Cf.  also  Cas  for  Caisg. 

There  is  no  8  sound  in  Arran  and  Kintyre  in  the  combinations 
rd,  rt — e.g.,  bord,  mart,  cairt,  not  as  in  some  dialects  borsd,  marst, 
cairst  (in  Tiree  they  say  bosd,  mast,  caist,  &c.)  In  rtl  neither  s 
nor  t  is  heard  :  ceirtle,  fairtlich  are  pronounced  cearle,  fairlich, 
Shaw  farlaicam  (to  cast,  overcome) ;  MacAlpine  cearsle,  fairslich. 

An  so,  an  sin,  an  sud,  are  sometimes  pronounced  an  t-so, 
an  t-sin,  <fec,  and  sometimes  ann  a  so,  ann  a  sin,  &c.  Some 
dialects  have  simply  (tha  e)  a  so,  &c,  and  Arran  Gaelic  has 
evidently  been  one  of  them  at  one  time,  ann  a  so,  <fcc,  being 
identical  constructions  with  (tha  e)  arm  an  Albainn,  and  (thug  e 
sud)  do  dhy  Alasdair. 

The  Southend  saoragan  (lapwing),  Shaw  saotharcan  (a  sort  of 
grey  plover),  MacAlpine  sadharcan  (s.  v.  pibhinn)  may  be  simply 
adharcan  with  prosthetic  s.  The  Southend  srileag  (a  sparkle, 
glowing  ember)  looks  as  if  there  had  been  an  attempt  at  a  com- 
promise between  srideag  and  Shaw's  drithleag  (diminutive  of  dril). 
The  Manx  enmysit  for  ainmichte  has  its  parallel  in  Southend 
ainmiosaite  (ainmiosachaidh,  da'  ainmiosaigh,  but  ag  ainmiosachadh 
or  'ainmeachadh).     Cf.  s  of  laimhsich  (handle). 

Initial  sr  has  no  inserted  t  (srath,  sruth,  not  strath,  <fcc.), 
except  in  strac  (to  tear),  strac  (to  stroke),  and  strub,  Shiskme 
strump  (a  spout).  Some  dialects,  on  the  contrary,  have  strath, 
stron,  <fec,  but  srac  and  .srub. 

Perhaps  it  should  be  noted  also  that  before  I  followed  by  a 
slender  vowel,  e.g.,  in  slighe,  sleamhuinn,  s  has  its  spirant  sound, 
not  as  in  some  dialects  its  broad  sound. 

Other  Consonants. 

Bh  almost  invariably  receives  its  full  value,  viz.,  v,  e.g.,  in 
arbhar,  uabhar,  and  in  the  imperative  2nd  plu.,  as  iarraibh, 
thigibh,  thallaibh,  but  not  easbhuidh,  gobha,  go'a  (close  o).  There 
is  one  instance  of  an  elision  of  bh  in  a  surname  such  as  has  been 
noticed  in  the  case  of  mh,  viz.,  MacBhridein  (M 'Bride),  at  the 
Southend  'Ac  'R\dein. 

The  not  unusual  interchange  of  p  and  /  is  found  in  the  loan 
words  fiseag  (a  kitten),  frine  (a  pin),  Manx  phreeney,  and  caiftinn 
(a  captain). 


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246  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

Aspiration. 

The  c  of  co,  in  co  mhath,  is  not  aspirated  as  in  some  dialects, 
but  the  m  of  co  mheud  (cia  mheud)  is.  In  ur  nodha  the  n  has 
got  aspirated.  Airidh  (certain)  is  sometimes  pronounced  airid, 
elsewhere  araidh  and  araid.  Possibly  rabbaic  (a  roar)  is  the  word 
raoic,  cf.  rabhadh  (a  warning) ;  in  Wester  Koss  rao'idh  (ao  short). 
Bi  fholbh  for  bi  falbh  is  noteworthy,  and  cha  dheanainn,  so 
Kintyre.  "Ta"  is  occasionally  heard  for  "tha,"  especially  in 
phrases  that  are  somewhat  stereotyped. 

Initial  /  in  composition  with  the  prefix  an  becomes  bh,  not  fh 
as  in  some  dialects,  e.g.,  anbhann  (weak),  ainbhiachan  (debts). 
It  seems  to  be  a  distinction  indeed  between  northern  and  southern 
Gaelic  that  the  former  aspirates  /  and  the  latter  reduces  it  to  bh 
in  such  positions.  The  /  of  fein  is  generally  not  aspirated  after 
consonants ;  after  m  of  the  prepositional  pronouns  of  the  first 
person,  it  becomes  p  at  the  Southend,  as  in  Manx.  Thus,  agam 
fein,  dhiom  fein,  are  agam  and  a'am  pein,  dhiom  pein  ;  Manx 
aym  pene,  jee'm  pene.  Even  after  the  circumlocution  that  is  used 
in  place  of  chugam  (to  me),  pein  is  used — "  cuir  mu  m*  thuaiream 
pein  e,"  equivalent  to  "cuir  chugam  fein  e"  (send  it  to  myself). 
Sibh  pein  is  common  to  other  dialects  also.  There  is  a  tendency 
to  retain  n  when  /  is  aspirated,  and  to  drop  it  when  /  is  plain 
fhein,  fe\ 

Metathesis. 

Metathesis  is  found  in  Sasgunn,  asgaill  (bosom),  Naoghas 
(Angus),  sneagan  (an  ant),  Di-daoirn  (Thursday),  and  eibhle  (a 
kilt),  Shaw  ebhladh.  The  two  last  forms  occur  in  Islay  also.  At 
the  Southend  ullabur  is  sometimes  heard  for  urball  (tail). 

Prosthesis. 
An  initial  s  is  found  in  Southend  slorg  (a  track),  and  some- 
times in  stuainnealach  (dizziness),  but  is  wanting  in  dreap  (to 
climb),  so  Irish,  usually  streap,  and  in  braigeal  if  it  be  identical 
with  Shaw's  spraical  (strong,  active,  high-spirited).  The  prosthetic 
/  in  faileas  (a  shadow)  is  very  general,  and  so  is  that  of  faradh  (a 
ladder)  in  the  Argyllshire  islands.  Shaw's  Feadailt  (Italy)  and 
feugmhas  (eugmhais)  may  be  noted.  Faile  (smell)  is  rightly  aile, 
or  rather  ailea,  the  vowel  sound  following  I  being  a.  So  fairich  is 
airich.  !Near  though  the  dialects  of  Arran  and  lslay  are  to  one 
another  in  many  respects,  the  passion  for  prosthetic  *  and  /  that 
.exists  in  the  latter  island  is  unknown  in  the  former. 


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The  Gaelic  Dialect  of  Arran.  247 

In  the  words  neasgann  (an  eel)  and  neag  (a  notch),  n  of  the 
article  has  got  attached  to  the  substantive. 

Vocalic  additions  to  the  end  of  words  are  found  in  sibhese 
(sibh-se),  faitheama  (a  hem),  burna  (water),  Di-Sathuirne,  boiche 
(a  byre),  dhiucha  (of  them)  Mne  (a  pin),  and  at  Shiskine  Domh- 
nacha. 

The  addition  of  a  final  dental  consonant,  a  common  occurrence 
in  Gaelic,  is  found  in  maireachd  (to-morrow),  t6iseachd  (com- 
mencing,), toiseachd  (precedence,  &c),  eireachd  (rising),  fuireachd 
(waiting,  Shiskine),  dithist  (two  persons),  treabhailt  (travelling), 
liobhairt  (delivering).  Shaw  has  eireachd,  dithisd,  and  Macalpine 
liobhairt,  and  Manx,  among  other  examples,  trauylt  (travelling), 
in  which  Professor  Rhys  regards  the  dental  addition  as  being  of 
obscure  origin. 

Some  monosyllables  appear  as  dissyllables,  as  was  noted  under 
the  vowel  u.  In  addition  to  the  instances  mentioned,  there  are 
fe'  inn  (a  load)  for  feun,  motha  (greater),  0.  Ir.  m6a,  &c,  othasg 
and  othaisg,  plu.  othasgan,  Shaw  othisg,  Macalpine  othaisg  for 
6isg  (a  yearling  ewe),  E.  Ir.  6isc  from  6i  (sheep),  and  seasg 
(barren) ;  an  d&db  (after),  de'idh  (close  e  short),  as  on  the  West 
Coast  generally  ;  ca-dhe  for  ce  (give,  hand  anything),  apparently 
an  old  imperative  form  of  chi  (will  see),  cf.  the  use  of  the  impera- 
tive feuch  in  the  sense  of  "  give  ;"  litheag  (a  lick).  In  borrowed 
words  the  division  of  one  syllable  into  two  is  common  in  Gaelic, 
e.g.,  paidhir  from  pair,  bleitheas  from  blaze. 

Grammar. 

Article. 

The  genitive  plural  of  the  article,  as  in  the  case  of  the  noun, 
has  been  supplanted  by  the  nominative  :  "  tigh  nam  fear"  is 
"  tigh  na  fir,"  except  before  words  beginning  with  b,  where  nam 
is  still  used.     The  other  cases  agree  with  the  regular  usage. 

Noun. 

The  use  of  the  nominative  singular  as  the  genitive  also  is 
somewhat  common,  though  it  is  regarded  as  a  mark  of  a  careless 
speaker.  The  assimilation  of  the  genitive  to  the  nominative  in 
the  plural  is  more  general.  A  correct  genitive  plural  is  seldom  or 
never  heard.  The  general  characteristics  of  declension  are  an 
aversion  to  the  guttural  plural,  which  is  first  favourite  in  other 
dialects,  and  a  partiality  for  the  plurals  formed  by  making  the 
.broad  ending  of  dissyllabic  words  slender.    Such  words  as  madadh, 


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248  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

peacadh,  cogadh,  aodach,  mullach,  cupan,  caman,  asal,  bachall, 
form  their  plural  by  the  insertion  of  i  after  the  last  vowel ;  that 
is,  the  nominative  plural  and  the  genitive  singular  are  alike.  So 
craicionn,  phi.  craicinn.  Ch  when  in  contact  with  small  vowels, 
as  in  aodaich,  as  has  been  said  already,  is  silent  in  Arran,  and  that 
has  to  be  observed  in  the  case  of  words  which  form  their  plural  in 
-ichean.  In  addition  to  the  elision  of  ch  in  these  plurals,  the  two 
syllables  are  compressed  into  one,  and  the  resultant  vowel  is  *  ;  or, 
to  put  it  otherwise,  chea  is  elided  and  in  are  lengthened  slightly  to 
compensate  for  the  elision,  and  are  sounded  like  een  of  English 
pt  seen,"  "  ween,"  except  that  the  voice  dwells  more  upon  the  vowel 
and  less  upon  the  consonant.  The  words  in  which  such  plurals 
are  found  are  principally  nouns  whose  nominative  singular  ends  in 
ir, — e.g.,  nathajr  (a  serpent)  ;  terms  of  kinship  in  r — e.g.,.  piuthar 
(a  sister),  along  with  a  few  borrowed  words  bearing  a  resemblance 
to  these  r  and  ir  nouns,  e.g.,  leabhar,  cathair,  faidhir,  nnd  a  few 
ending  in  a  vowel  with  the  plural  variable,  e.g.,  cota,  malaigh  (an 
eyebrow),  plural  cotaichean,  malaichean,  pronounced  cbtain, 
malain.  This  plural,  which  may  be  marked  with  an  accute  accent 
for  the  sake  of  clearness,  is  found  also  in 

smuain,  pron.  smin,  plu.  smuaintean,  pron.  smintin 
bliadhna,  plu.  bliadhnaichean,  or  bliadhnachan,  pron.  bliandain 
gobha,  plu.  goibhne,  etc.,  pron.  goibhnin 
fail,  a  peat  spade  (fal),  has  plural  faltain 

Samhradh,  geamhradh,  earrach  are  in  the  plural  samhraiu, 
geamhrain,  earrain.  Autumn  is  faomhar,  plu.  faomhair.  Abhainn 
has  plu.  aibhnean. 

teanga  (tongue)  has  teangan  and  teangachan 
duthaich,  pron.  duiche,  gen.  duthcha,  has  plu.  duichean 
gnothach,  gen.  gnothaigh,  has  plu.  gnothain  (so  Northend  also) 
solus  has  plu.  soillsean  (o  as  ao  short) 

The  word  for  flames,  lasraigh  (Northend  lasraichean)  requires  a 
singular  nominative  lasrach,  and  such  has  been  used.  It  is 
evidently  an  instance  of  the  displacement  of  the  nominative  by 
the  genitive.  The  true  nominative  lasair  is  known,  but  has  pro- 
bably been  recovered  from  the  literature.  The  word  is  not  often 
used  in  the  singular. 

Guttural  forms  are  found  in  ponair,  gen.  ponarach ;  caora,  gen. 
caorach,  plu.  caoraigh  ;  ciothall  (a  wheel),  gen.  ciothlach,  plu. 
ciothlan  and  ciothlain ;  and  also  in  the  following  forms  : — aisne, 


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The  Gaelic  Dialect  of  Arran.  249 

plu.  asnach,  a  plural  which  occurs  in  one  of  the  Old  Irish  glosses  ; 
gualainn,  plu.  guailleach  ;  sgleut  (slate),  plu.  sgleutach  ;  leine,  plu. 
l&nteach,  Shaw  leintach,  0.  Ir.  leinti ;  Hop,  plu.  lioprach  ;  rathad, 
plu.  na  rathaideach  mora,  otherwise  na  rathaid ;  fiadh,  gen.  sing, 
feidheach  in  the  phrase  "cabar  feidheach ;"  fear,  gen.  and  dat. 
plu.  at  Southend  fearagh  and  fearag,  also  fir  and  fear:  compare 
u  a'  cur  mar  fhiachag^'  Those  and  other  instances  seem  to  show 
that  the  dative  plural  termination  has  been  treated  the  same  as 
-adh,  and  has  been  extended  in  the  case  of  "  fear"  to  the  genitive 
plural. 

Such  words  as  tarbh,  marbh,  &c,  have  ei  (e  close),  not  ai,  in 
the  oblique  cases,  but  without  the  quality  of  the  consonants  being 
affected  by  the  change  from  broad  vowel  to  slender,  e.g.,  tarbh, 
plu.  &c,  tairbh,  t'eirbh.  B6,  cow,  gen.  b6,  has  plu.  ba  (bwe),  not 
ba.  Miqs  (month),  has  plu.  mis,  as  in  Old  Irish  tri  m\s  (three 
months).  Fad  (a  peat),  bdit  (a  boot),  and  claidheamh  have  plu. 
fadan,  boiteannan,  and  claidhmhean  (mh  as  v).  The  word  for 
stocking  is  osan  in  the  singular,  with  stocaidh  at  the  Southend 
for  plural,  apparently  the  plural  of  a  form  stocadh,  resembling 
the  Irish  nom.  sing,  stoca. 

Both  the  Manx  and  the  Irish  declensions  have  several  points 
of  agreement  with  Arran  Gaelic.  Manx  nouns  in  adh,  written  eyy 
are,  as  a  rule,  indeclinable  in  the  singular,  and  have  the  plural  in 
aghan,  e.g.,  caggey  (war),  gen.  caggey,  nom.  plu.  caggaghyn,  but 
moddey  (dog)  has  gen.  sing,  and  nom.  plu.  moddee,  exactly  as  in 
Arran.  Nouns  in  agh,  equal  to  Scotch  ach,  have  the  same 
declension  in  the  Isle  of  Man,  in  Ireland,  and  in  Arran,  Islay,  &c, 
e.g.,  kellagh  (a  cock),  gen.  sing,  and  nom.  plu.  kellee,  Irish  coileach, 
gen.  coiligh.  So  keyrrey  (a  sheep),  gen.  ny  geyrragb,  plu.  kirree. 
Another  class  of  Manx  agh  nouns  indeclinable  in  the  singular  have 
their  plural  in  eeyn,  e.g.,  cl  add  agh,  a  loch  (beach),  plu.  claddeeyn, 
a  pronunciation  not  unknown  in  Arran,  and  marking  a  less 
advanced  stage  of  the  treatment  of  ichean. 

Speaking  generally,  the  genitive  and  the  vocative  singular  and 
the  nominative  plural  are  the  only  declensional  forms  kept,  and 
these  are  in  general  correct.  The  dative  singular  does  not  differ 
from  the  nominative,  and  in  the  plural  all  the  cases  are  like  the 
nominative.  A  vocative  singular  in  use  is  rud  (a  thing),  pro- 
•  nounced  reid  (close  e  short)  in  the  expression  "  a  reid  ghranna." 
Instances  of  plural  datives  have  been  mentioned — mar  fhiachag, 
do  na  fearag,  to  which  add  air  taillibh,  used  at  Shiskine,  and  of 
course  beulaobh,  culaobh,  pronounced  beula,  cula,  but  beulag  an 
tighe,  at  Shiskine  beulaibh. 


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250  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness, 

The  tendency  to  use  the  oblique  case  as  the  nominative  is  seen 
in  tlaim,  srdin,  gualainn,  uilinn,  uirsinn,  gois,  but  there  are  on 
the  other  hand  such  nominatives  still  as  claigionn,  craicionn, 
fearann,  salann,  siabunn,  cnanih,  lamh,  gobba,  lurga,  smug  (plural 
smugan),  bos  (in  sense  of  a  "  slap"),  taos. 

The  gender  of  nouns  originally  neutemis  in  the  dialects  in  a 
state  of  confusion,  but  the  words  corp,  ufc,  ubhall,  are  notable 
feminines  in  Arran.  Mr  Macbain  has  remarked  the  Lewis  treat- 
ment of  "  inuir,"  which  is  there  feminine  in  the  nominative  and 
masculine  in  the  genitive,  and  there  are  several  other  words  of 
complicated  gender,  as  Professor  Mackinnon  has  pointed  out 
For  example,  boirionnach,  mart,  capull,  and  bata  take  in  Arran,  as 
elsewhere,  a  masculine  adjective  but  a  feminine  pronoun,  i.e.,  the 
adjective  is  not  aspirated  after  them,  and  the  pronoun  that  agrees 
with  them  is  not  e  but  i — e.g.,  "  Thainig  am  bata  mor  agus  tha  i 
a  feitheamh  ort."  "  Soitheach"  again  is  masculine  when  it  means 
a  dish,  but  feminine  when  it  means  a  sea-going  vessel.  The  only 
other  example  regarding  which  we  have  anything  to  remark  in 
Arran  is  talamh,  which  is  masculine  in  the  nominative  but 
feminine  in  the  genitive,  which  is  na  talmhan,  as  in  Irish,  not 
talmhainn.  The  Old  talam,  gen.  talman,  dat.  talmain  is  feminine 
throughout.  In  most  dialects  a  second  genitive,  talaimh,  which 
is  masculine,  has  been  formed,  and  is  more  or  less  confined  to  the 
sense  "  of  the  soil,"  the  former  genitive  being  then  limited  to  the 
sense  "  of  the  globe."  The  peculiarities  of  those  words  have  been 
observed  by  MacAlpine  in  his  Grammar,  where  he  characteristically 
remarks  that  they  "  set  all  rules  at;  defiance." 

The  gender  of  the  Manx  form  of  talamh  has  been  bothering 
the  grammarians  of  that  language  also  ;  it  is  nominative 
*'y  thalloo"  (the  earth),  formerly  uyn  tallu,"  gen.  "y  thallooin," 
formerly  "yn  taluin."  It  is  regarded,  with  some  hesitation,  as 
masculine  in  the  literature,  and  the  reason  for  so  regarding  it 
seems  to  have  been  the  non-aspiration  of  the  initial  consonant 
after  the  article,  the  reason  of  which  is  of  course  that  the  law  of 
aspiration  does  not  operate  upon  the  dentals  after  n — e.g.,  nighean 
donn.  Even  as  it  is,  tallu  is  in  some  instances  feminine,  and  it 
may  be  that  in  making  it  masculine,  the  grammarians,  after  their 
wont,  have  been  carving  it  to  fit  their  rules. 

Adjectives, 

The  inflections  of  the  adjective  are  well-nigh  gone,  with  the 
exception  of  the  forms  of  comparison.  Teth,  laidir,  beag,  mor, 
math,  gasda,  have  as  comparative  forms  nas  teotha,  laidire,  lugha 


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The  Gaelic  Dialect  of  Arran.  251 

(French  u),  motha  (0.  Ir.  m6a),  fearr,  and  also  feobha,  gasdacha 
At  the  Southend,  aird  (high)  has  displaced  ard — e.g.,  duine  aird  (a 
tall  man),  tigh  aird  (a  high  house). 

The  numerals  are  pronounced — in,  d'e,  tri,  cethir  (open,  e), 
coig,  sya,  syachd,  ochd,  n'i,  deich,  m-deug,  &c,  fi'ad,  &c,  ciad. 
The  prefixed  a  in  enumerating  is  retained  at  Shiskine  and  at  the 
Northend,  a  h-in,  &c.  The  numeral  nouns  are — inear,  dithist, 
triuir,  cethrear,  coigear,  syathar,  syachd ar,  ochdar,  ninear  (at 
Shiskine  ni'ear),  deinear.  Coicer  and  octar  are  Old  Irish,  and 
agree,  as  does  also  seachdar,  with  the  forms  given  by  Shaw  and  by 
MacAlpine.  The  termination  of  the  ordinals  is  open  o  short,  e.g., 
deicho  (tenth). 

Prepositional  Pronouns. 

The  following  forms  occur  :  -uirre  (on  her),  diucha  (of  them), 
duit,  bhuait,  not  dut,  uat;  daibh  (to  them),  focha  (under  them), 
leaiche,  leocha  (with  her,  with  them),  bhuaiche,  bhuacha  (from 
her,  from  them),  riche,  riucha  (to  her,  to  them),  thaire,  thairte 
(over  him,  over  her)  ;  tromh,  tromhan,  &c,  has  lost  initial  t 
throughout,  and  so  is  identical  in  form  with  romh,  romhan,  &c 
(before  me,  &c),  mh  being  silent,  and  o  nasal  in  all ;  thugad 
means  "away  with  you,"  and  thuige  is  thige. 

Verb. 

The  elision  of  slender  ch  in  -ich  verbs  has  been  mentioned,  but 
it  has  to  be  noted  that  in  the  future  indicative  and  in  the 
preterite  and  future  subjunctive  of  such  verbs,  ch  is  broad,  e.g., 
beannachaidh  e,  bheannachadh,  ma  bheannachas  for  beann- 
achaidh  e,  &c.  Shaw  has  coiruchidh,  mhothuchas,  &c.  (Analysis 
pp.  127,  139).  Sanntaich  has  sanntachaidh,  &c,  but  mashanntas 
Eirich,  pronounced  iri,  Manx  iree,  has  future  indicative  ireachaidh, 
Shaw  eirichidh,  infinitive  ireachadh,  or  more  frequently  ireachd. 

Ruig  reach  (arrive  at)  is  a  regular  verb,  witb  past  indicative 
and  interrogative  ruig,  and  infinitives  (at  Southend)  ruigsinn  (to 
reach  anything)  ruigeachd  (to  arrive),  at  Shiskine  ruigheachd. 
Faic  (see)  has  past  indicative  thunnai,  at  Northecd  thunna.  The 
future  is  thibh,  with  related  forms  thibhinn,  ma  thibh,  thibhear, 
<fcc,  &c.    At  the  Northend  chibhinn  occurs.    Shaw  has  "  chibh"  : — 

"  Ionadh  an  treudich  glacidh  'm  fasach  lorn  ; 
Nuair  chibh  e  feur  us  neonain  fas  fo  bhonn ;  • 

Cliosgidh,  nuair,  measg  nan  carruig  thartor  chruaidh, 
Ni  easan  leimnach  monar  ann  a  chluais." 

— Pope's  Messiah  in  Gaelic,  vv.  67-70. 


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252  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

The  form  is  a  b  future,,  Old  aiciub,  and  parallel  forms  occur 
in  Ross's  Psalms,  e.g.  lxxxvi.  9,  "Tiofidh  gach  fine  rinneadh  leat." 
Faigh  (get),  Ir.  faighaim,  E.  Ir.  fagbaim,  is  fai',  and  ffi\  with 
nach  fhS,  cha'n  fha,  Manx  cha  (now),  nam  fa'inn,  and  so  on. 
Gheibh  is  gheo  (close  o),  at  Northend  ghei  and  so  on,  with 
infinitive  faotainn,  Rach  (go)  has  thaidh  (went),  an  dea'idh, 
rachainn,  imperative  rach  am  (rarely  used),  rachaibh,  and  instead 
of  2nd  sing,  rach,  thig  is  used,  e.g.,  "Thig  a  dh'  Irt."  Ting* 
(come)  has  thaini' ;  infinitive  ti'achd ;  imperative  2nd  plu.  thigibh, 
2nd  sing,  thalla.     Thoir  (give)  is  tho'ir  ;  infinitive  to'art  and  tort. 

The  passive  forms  of  the  verb  are  well  enough  known,  but  are 
rarely  used,  the  sense  being  expressed  by  the  ordinary  periphrases. 

Adverbs. 

The  day  before  yesterday  is  "  ear-bho-de  ;"  the  year  before 
last,  "  ear-bho  'n-uraidh  ;"  bho,  which  bears  the  accent  in  those 
combinations  in  Perthshire  ('"  air  bh6'n  de"),  being  unaccented  in 
Arran,  while  ear  and  de,  tvraidh,  are.  "  'Na  dbeidh  sin,"  for  "  an 
d&dh  sin"  (after  that)  occurs  in  Scriptures,  e.g.,  Luke  xvii.  8. 
"  Upside  down,"  as  of  a  dress,  is  "  car  rau  chlios,"  and  "  inside 
out"  "  car  air  asgain" — Macleod  and  Dewar,  "  caoin  air  ascaoin ;" 
" heels  over  head"  is  "car  a  bhuigein  olla." 

Prepositions. 

The  preposition  gu  (chun,  thun)  appears  as  'un  : — "  Chaidh  e 
'un  an  tigh,"  "  'un  an  aite,"  "  'un  Sheumais "  =  he  went  to  the 
house,  to  the  place,  to  James.  "  He  went  to  the  town"  is  "  chaidh 
e  'n  a'  bhaile,  which  is  identical  with  the  Badenoch  expression  in 
form,  but  not,  I  think,  in  origin.  The  Arran  'n  a  is  for  thun  a', 
while  that  of  Badenoch,  as  explained  by  Mr  Macbain,  is  for  do'n. 
"'N  a'  bhaile,"  "'un  a'  bhaile,"  "  gus  a'  bhaile,"  are  all  used  for 
"  to  the  town." 

Conjunctions. 

The  conjunction  mur,  so  Northend  (unless),  is  muna,  Manx 
mannagh,  Irish  mana,  colloquially  mur,  0.  Ir.  mani.  Muna, 
written  "  ma  na  (bheil)"  in  MacAlister's  Sermons,  e.g.,  p.  35,  is 
Shaw's  form,  and  is  used  also,  T  believe,  in  Islay,  Lewis,  and 
Raasay.  The  word  for  "  when"  is  an  at  the  Southend,  ar  or  air  at 
Shiskine  ;  0.  Ir.  a  n-  :  rinn  e  sin  an  a  thainig  e  =  he  did  that  when 
he  came ;  gheibh  e  so  an  a  dh'  elreas  e  =  he  will  get  this  when  he 
rises.  It  may  be  compared  with  an  in  "  a'  bhliadhna  anns  an  tainig 
e,"  and  with  n  of  the  conjunctions  o'n,  na'n,  gu'n,  all  which  seem 


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The  Gaelic  Dialect  of  Arran.  253 

to  be,  as  Thurneysen  says  in  regard  to  n  of  gu'n,  simply  the  relative 
pronoun  a,  an,  or  going  a  step  further  back,  the  neuter  of  the 
article  an.     The  form  nar  is  also  used,  but  less  frequently. 

Interjections. 

"Neorra  tha"  is  an  affirmation  known  elsewhere.  Other 
Southend  forms  are  "  an  deorra  tha,"  and  still  stronger  "  an 
deorra  fein  tha;"  at  Shiskine;  "  dheorra  tha"  and  "dheorrafein 
tha." 

"Ocha-m"  (Southend)  is  expressive  of  sadness,  Manx  ogh-cha- 
nee  (woe's  me);  cf.  Welsh  ochenaid  (a  sigh).  Expressive  of 
surprise  are  "  a  chiachainde,"  " a  chiasta"  (for  "a  cheusda ?")  and 
the  less  frequent  Southend  "a  chiastaid,"  with  the  passive 
participle  suffix  reduplicated.     "  Mo  r&re"  means  certainly. 

Shaw's  "  faraor,  alas  !"  and  "  Machtre,  a  Highland  interjection," 
seem  to  be  unknown  in  Arran. 

Idiom. 

The  future  of  dean  (do)  is  not  ni,  but  deanaidh  mi,  thu,  <fec, 
with  future  conditional  ma  dheanas  mi,  &c,  and  passive  deanar, 
ma  dheanar.  The  reply  to  an  toir  is  not  bheir,  but  thoir,  e.g., 
"  An  toir  mi  dha  so  ?     Thoir." 

"Ruith  e  mar  a  dh'  fhairleachadh  e" — "He  ran  at  his  utmost 
speed"  :  "  ruith  mar  a  dh'  fhairleas  thu" — "  run  as  hard  as  you 
can."      The  word  is  evidently  fairtlich. 

'  Thig  is  "  go,"- not  "  come."  "  Come  in"  is  "thalla  steach,"  and 
plural  "thallaibh  a  steach."  "  Go  in"  is  "thig  at  steach";  "go 
away"  "  thig  air  falbh."  The  phrase  corresponding  to  "  Go  to 
Banff,"  or  "  Go  to  Halifax"  is  "Thig  a  dh'  Irt,"  "go  to  St  Kilda." 

Tha  mi  'g  airea'  gu  =  I  think  that,  is  an  expression  in  constant 
use ;  tha  mi  'g  airea'  gu'n  e  th'  ann  =  I  think  it  is  he  ;  tha  mi  'g 
airea'  gu'n  dean  sin  feum  =  I  think  that  that  will  do.  It  is  airea', 
not  airea,  except  when  the  word  stands  last,  as  "  Is  e  so  e  tha  mi 
'g  airea'.  At  Shiskine  and  at  the  Northend  it  is  "  Tha  mi  'g 
aireamh"  (mh  as  v),  so  that  the  primary  meaning  is  "  I  reckon.'*1 

Is  beachdaidh  learn  gu,  Tha  mi  beachdaidh  gu  =  I  know  that, 
I  am  sure  that ;  bheil  thu  beachdaidh  =  are  you  certain  ?  tha  mi 
gle  bheachduidh  =  yes,  I  am  quite  certain. 

Bheil  thu  dearbhas  =  are  you  certain  that — ;  tha  mi  dearbhas. 

Tha  e  'brath  =  he  intends  ;  tha  e  'hrath  falbh,  tha  e  'brath  sin 
a  dheanamh. 

Tha  e  an  aire  dha  =  he  intends. 


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254  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

Tha  e  a  mhiann  =  he  wishes  to ;  tha  e  a  mhiann  a  dheanamh, 
<fcc. 

Meal  do  naigheachd  =  I  congratulate  you,  is  the  set  phrase 
for  congratulating  a  bride  or  bridegroom ;  "he  congratulated  him" 
or  "  them "  is  "  Chuir  e  meal-a-naigheachd  air,"  or  "  meal-an- 
naigheachd  orra." 

Is  math  an  sas  so  am  buntata  a  lobhadh,  is  math  an  sas  so  an 
gart  a  f hroiseadh  =  this  (weather)  is  enough  to  rot  the  potatoes, 
to  shake  the  (standing)  corn ;  is  math  an  sas  sibh  mo  chuir  a 
mach  air  an  dorus  =  you  are  enough  to  drive  me  out  of  the  house 
(with  noise)  or  to  make  me  homeless  (with  your  extravagance). 
Also,  Is  math  an  sas  sin  a  thoirt  an  lobhadh  anns  a  bhuntata, 
Nach  math  an  sas  sin  a  thcirt  breitheanais  air  an  talamh. 

Cha  mhath  gu'n  =  it  is  to  be  hoped  that,  negatively  ;  cha 
mhath  gu'n  do  thachair  a  bheag  dha  =  it  is  to  be  hoped  that 
nothing  has  happened  him. 

Cha  bu  chroic  sin  a  dheanamh,  cha  bu  chroic  dha  sin  a 
dheanamh  =  that  could  easily  be  done,  he  could  easily  do  that. 
Also,  De  '8  croic  sin  a  dheanamh,  and  to  anyone,  for  instance, 
leaving  a  "  ceilidh"  unusually  early,  De  a  chroic  a  th'  ort. 

Truagh  gu'n  robh  e  =  pity  but  he  were.  An  imprecation  used 
at  the  Southend  is  Truagh  gu'n  rcbh  thu  eadar  Allasan  is 
Eabhainn  =  Pity  but  you  were  between  Ailsa  Craig  and  Sanda 
(island  near  the  Mull  of  Kintyre),  the  meaning  of  which  is  further 
illustrated  by  the  remark  that  may  be  heard  on  stormy  days, 
"  Cha  bu  mhath  bhi  eadar  Allasan  is  Eabhainn  a  leithid  so  a 
latha."  The  Shiskine  form  of  Ailsa  is  Allasa,  the  second  vowel 
being  indistinct  and  the  noun  masculine.  The  form  Ealasaid  is 
not  used  in  Arran.  Eabhainn  (e)  may  of  course  be  for  Abhuinn 
(A). 

"  The  same  to  you  "  is  "  mar  sin  is  duitse." 

"  This  is  a  better  day"  is  "  so  la  a's  fhearr  f  "  this  is  a  bigger 
one"  =  "  so  fear  a's  mo,"  not  "  na's  fhearr,  na's  mo."  So  past  tense 
"  thug  e  dha  rud  a  b*  fhearr,"  "  chunnaic  e  fear  a  bu  mho.  "  He 
became  better  and  better"  is  "dh'  fhas  e  na  b' fhearr  is  na 
b'  fhearr;"  at  Shiskine,  "  dh'  fhas  e  na's  fhearr  is  na  's  fhearr." 

"  Too"  (soon,  good,  etc.)  is  "  motha  's,"  e.g.,  "  it  is  too  early" 
=  "  tha  e  motha  's  trath,"  equal  to  "  tha  e  tuilleadh  's  trath." 

"  'S  m6  tha  's  na  nach  'eil"  is  a  common  formula  of  reply  to 
questions  answerable  with  yes  or  no,  and  has  the  force  of  a 
modified  or  qualified  assent,  e.g.,  in  reply  to  "Are  you  tired?"  it 
means  "  a  little,"  "  somewhat."  So  also  "  'S  m6  seadh  's  na  nach 
eadh." 


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The  Gaelic  Dialect  of  Arran.  255 

Cha  'n  eil  a  choir  urad  ami  =  there  is  not  nearly  so  much. 

Tha  'n  t-am  againn  falbh  thar  a  ch&le  =  it  is  time  for  us  both 
(or  all)  to  go. 

"He  went  north"  is  "chaidh  e  gu  tuath,"  and  more  often 
"  chaidh  e  mu  thuath ;"  "  he  is  in  the  north"  =  "  tha  e  mu  thuath." 
So  with  deas  also.  "  He  went  to  the  Northend  "  (<5f  the  island)  is 
'"  chaidh  e  thun  a  cheann  mu  thuath ;"  "he  went  east"  is  "chaidh 
e  thun  an  ear,"  or  "  's  ann  an  ear  a  chaidh  e,"  and  so  with  iar. 
The  adverbs  for  "  out"  and  "  in  "  are  used  with  etymological  pre- 
cision at  the  Southend  :  "  chaidh  e  mach,"  "  tha  e  muigh," 
"  thainig  e  steach,"  "  tha  e  stigh." 

Anew,  afresh,  over  again  =  "  as  ur,"  is  "  as  a  nodha,"  Manx 
ass-y-noa ;  immediately  is  "  gun  stad ;"  busy  is  "  mu  theinn,"  a 
phrase  in  constant  use;  "tha  thu  mu  theinn  "  =  you  are  busy  ; 
"  tha  na  madaidh  mu  theinn,"  used  of  dogs  barking  ;  "  air  'chois" 
means  up,  out  of  bed  ;  "air  a  chasan "  means  (standing  or  walk- 
ing) on  his  feet ;  "  m'a  reir"  is  "  free ;"  "  leig  iad  m'a  r&r  e,"  they 
set  him  free. 

"  Gle  mhath"  means  good  enough ;  very  good  is  often  "  math, 
math;"  "cha'n  eil  e  aon  dath  (fuar,  &c.")  =  it  is  not  the  least 
(cold,  &c.)  ;  "  gun  taing  do  "  is  in  spite  of ;  "  rachadh  e  ann  gun 
taing  domh"  =  he  would  go  in  spite  of  me,  sometimes  simply 
"  chaidh  e  ann  gun  taing  ;"  "  chuireadh  e  annainn  gun  taing  gu'n" 
=  he  would  insist  that  (it  was  so).  "  Air  alt"  is  a  very  common 
expression,  and  means  properly,  rightly,  perfectly  ;  thuig  mi  e  air 
alt  =  I  understood  him  perfectly ;  cha'n  eil  f hios  agam  air  alt  =  I 
do  not  rightly  know. 

"How  (are  you),"  ciamar,  is  "de  mar  (a  tha  thu);"  and 
"  why,"  carson,  is  "  c'onia." 

"Dol  air  beinn"  =  going  over  the  hill;  at  the  Southend  it 
always  means  "  going  to  Lamlash." 

For  "to,"  in  the  sense  of  (sending)  to,  dh' ionnsuidh,  "mu 
thuaiream"  is  used ;  chuir  mi  litir,  leabhar,  <fec,  m'a  thuaiream — 
mu  thuaiream  Sheumais  =  I  sent  a  letter,  &c,  to  him — to  James. 

"  He  will  go  to  do  it"  is  "  theid  e  'a  dheanamh  ;"  "  he  went  to 
do  it,"  " chaidh  e  'a  dheanamh  ;"  "he  is  going  to  do  it,"  "  tha  e 
do?  a  dheanamh  ;"  but  "  he  is  doing  it,"  "  tha  e'ga  dheanamh  ;" 
"  he  was  doing  it,"  "  bha  e'ga  dheanamh ;"  cf.  "  dh'  innis  e  is 
mi  'bhacadh  dha  innis,"  "  he  told  after  I  had  forbidden  him  to ;" 
and  "  dh'  innis  e  is  mi  a  bacadh  dha  innis,"  "  he  told  while  I  was 
forbidding  him  to,"  i.e.,  ag  with  infinitive  expresses  a  contemporary 
act ;  do  (aspirating  following  consonant)  worn  down  to  a  with 
infinitive,  expresses  a  past  or  future  act. 


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256  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

"  Look  at"  is  "  amhairc  air ;"  "  co  air  a  bheil  thu  'g  amharc," 
also  "  co  tha  thu  ag  amharc  air." 

"  Where  is.  he  coming  from"  is  "  c'aite  bheil  e  'tigheachd  as* 
and  "  c'aite  as  bheil  *  'tigheachd,"  Manx  "  kaid  as  veil  e  chiit." 

"Help  yourself"  is  "cuidich  leat  fein,"  but  "help  him  with 
the  work,"  "  cuidich  leis  leis  an  obair,"  and  "  cuidich  e  leis  an 
obair." 

"The  man  to  whom  they  belong,"  "an  duine  is  leis  iad,  leis 
an  leis  iad,  and  d'an  leis  iad"  (cf.  d'am  buin  iad  for  the  third  form). 
The  Manx  tendency  to  use  pronominal  phrases  of  the  third  person 
for  all  persons,  e.g.,  "  tha  mi  nylomarcan,"  i.e.,  "  'n  a  lomarcan" 
for  "  na  mo  lomarcan,"  is  not  seen  in  Arran.  (It  may  be  observed 
m  Lochalsh,  e.g.,  "  thug  mi  leis  e,"  "  I  brought  it  with  me"). 
"  A  bhe*n  leis  an  robh  i,"  which  may  be  heard  anywhere,  is  in 
Arran  frequently  inverted  "  a  bhean  a  bha  i  leis." 

"  A  cur  maille  air  an  leirsinn,"  "dazzling  the  eyes,"  used  e.g. 
of  the  sun  or  of  anything  gorgeous. 

"  Fhuair  e  reidh  's  e,  r&dh  's  a  chuis,"  "  got  clear  or  rid  of  it, 
rid  of  the  business." 

The  use  of  "  thu"  or  "  sibh"  is  determined  solely  by  number, 
and  never  by  age  or  rank,  except  that  old  people  say  "  sibh"  to  a 
minister. 

"  Cha  'n  eil  aon  duine  an  sud"  =  Northern  "  Cha  'n  eil  duine 
an  sud,"  "  there  is  no  one  there."  "  Aon,"  which  is  not  emphasised 
in  such  uses,  is  thus  used  frequently,  not  as  an  intensive  but  as  if 
a  step  had  been  taken  towards  supplying  Gaelic  with  an  indefinite 
article.     In  Irish  "  aon  duine"  is  used  for  "  any  man  " 

The  following  list  contains  some  words  whose  local  significa- 
tion or  use  seems  more  or  less  noteworthy  : — 

aingidh,  angry;  aingidheachd,  anger. 

anail,  opinion ;  21a  'm  faigheadh  tu  'anail  air,  if  you  would  get  his 
opinion  of  it.  The  expression,  which  is  not  common,  is 
evidently  an  adaptation  of  the  Lowland  "get  his  breath  on 
it,"  breath  being  in  all  probability  the  Gaelic  breith,  judg- 
ment At  least  one  Scottish  writer  has  tried  to  improve  on 
the  expression  by  writing  "  smell  his  breath,"  which  is 
offensive. 

anastachd,  hardiness,  endurance  of  cold. 

bad,  a  group,  cluster ;  bad  tighean ;  bad  daoine ;  bad  chaorach. 

balach,  a  bachelor  at  any  age;  in  Kintyre  "giulan,"  though  he 
should  be  an  octogenarian 


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The  Gaelic  Dialect  of  Arran.  257 

ballan,  an  ulder,  also  a  teat ;  ballan-losgainn,  a  toad-stool. 

bait,  a  man's  eollar,  from  Eng.  welt. 

beachann  (not  beachan),  a  hive-bee  ;  seillean,  a  wild-bee. 

beart-threobhaidh,  a  plough. 

blad,  a  dirty  mouth. 

bocsa,  a  cavity  in  a  potato. 

bointe,  relationship  equal  to  daimh. 

bord  nan  graisg,  the  table  to  which  children  and  servants  sit  after 

others  have  been  served  at  weddings,  harvest  homes,  &c. 
Briathar,  the  Scriptures;  tha  e  anns  a  Bhriathar  (not  anns  an 

Phocal),  Southend, 
briob  and   briobag,    any   considerable  sum  of   money;    English 

bribe, 
bruchag,  a  corner  ;  Shaw,  a  chink,  an  eyelet, 
burn,  spring  water,  also  fior-uisge ;  uisge  means  rain  and  also 

brook  water, 
a*  cainnt,  talking,  at  Shiskine  bruthain. 
caiteag,  a  basket, 
caoch,  one-eyed. 

caoraigh-bhrocach,  black-faced  sheep, 
cas,  to  twist  as  thread  ;  Macalpine  to  wreathe,  bend. 
cl6thte,  fulled,  thickened  of  cloth, 
cnap,  a  potato ;  spion  an  cnap,  peel  the  potato, 
coda-ban,  fourpenny  piece ;  Macleod  and  Dewar,  "cod,  s.f.,  a  piece 

part "  (from  quota  ?). 
coir,  pious ;  never  kind,  good  natured. 
a'  collaid,  arguing,  Northend ;  same  as  collaid,  clamour,  <kc. 
craobh,  any  garden  bush  ;  a  bush  that  grows  wild  is  torn,  as  torn, 

fraoich,  torn  airnean,  &c.     Preas  is  not  used, 
creic,  sell,  not  reic. 
cuibhle,  a  spinning  wheel,  the  wheel  of  a  ship ;  any  other  wheel 

is  roth, 
cuileaga  sneachda,  flakes  of  snow, 
dagan,  a  little  thick-set  man. 

darag,  a  big  stout  woman ;  nach  i  an  darag  i ;  darag,  an  oak  tree, 
an  duilean,  poor  thing ;  also  an  duileag,  plu.  na  duileachan. 
eallach,  a  herd,  stock  of  cattle;  cuig  cinn  eallaigh,  five  head  of 

cattle,  so  Shaw,  Irish, 
ealtag-leuthraigh,  a  bat  Southend, 
fal,  a  halo  about  sun  or  moon, 
feun  (pro.  feuinn),  a  load,  what  a  person  can  carry,  e.g.  feun  uisge, 

a  "  gang  "  of  water, 
foghainteach,  generous. 

17 


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258  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness.  • 

gais,  loathing,  cf.  gais,  surfeit, 
garadh  na  h-eaglais,  churchyard, 
giulla,  a  man  servant ;  gille,  a  youth, 
gleusda,  kind. 

greannaichte  (bristling),  tha  e  greannaichte  fuar,  it  is  bitterly  or 
piercingly  cold ;  nach  tu  an  "  swell "  greannaichte,  what  a 
tremendous  "  swell "  you  are. 
guidheachan,  imprecations, 
iomarcach,  trying  hard  to  bear,  as  cold,  heat,  &c. 
ladhar,  a  toe  (of  man) ;  so  in  Islay ;  a  hoof  is  crodhan. 
laghach,  kind, 
leamh,  annoyed,  provoked ;  is  mi  a  tha  leamh  dhe,  provoked  at  or 

by  him,  <fcc. 
loinnean,  an  easy,  careless,  fat,  untidy  fellow;  "a  greedy  gut," 

Macalpine. 
mm,  soft,  gentle;  "a  dhuine  mh\n  "  used  as  "a  dhuine  choir"  is 
elsewhere  ;    also  "  paisdean  m\n,"  an  expression  of   endear- 
ment to  a  child,  cf.  Manx  "  aw  boy  veen,  boy  bogh." 
pairt  with  the  possessive  pronouns  corresponds  to  English  mine, 
ours,  *fec,  e.g.  bheil  do  lamhansa  tioram?  tha  mo  phairt  sa 
fliuch,  are  your  hands  dry  ?  mine  are  wet. 
ranach,  hoarse, 
raodach  (reudach),  kindly, 
reodhadh,  "  ice,"  as  well  as  frost, 
reulag,  a  star ;  at  Shiskine  rionnaig,  a  shooting  star, 
samhuilt  aithne,  bha  "  samhuilt  aithne  "  aige  air  an  duine,  or  bha 
e  a'  deanamh  samhuilt  aithne  air  an  duine,  he  knew  that  he 
ought  to  know  the  man  but  he  could  not  recall  who  he  was ; 
also  "  aithne  gun  chuimhne." 
seisrigh,  a  pair  of  horses,  a  team  ;  properly  six  horses, 
seog  v.n.,  to  fly. 
siolaigh,  a  stallion, 
sliomair,  a  thief, 
srubag,  a  swig  (of  liquor), 
sruban,  tha  sruban  air,  he  has  had  a  drop,  i.e.  he  is  the  worse  of 

drink, 
taca,  time,  season;  mu'n  taca  so  bhliadhna,  at  this  season  of  the 

year,  or  about  this  time  of  year, 
tonn,  a  quantity  of  any  liquid  Southend ;  tha  tonn  math  uisge 
anns  a  chuinneag  fathast,  there  is  a  good  drop  of  water  in 
the  pail  yet.     So  also  tonnag. 
torachd,  enquiring,  asking, 
torran,  dunghill. 


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The  Gaelic  Dialect  of  Arran.  259 

tulg  v.,  to  rock  (a  cradle) ;  Shaw,  tulagam,  to  rock,  move ;  Mac- 
alpine,  to  rock,  roll,  toss,  sway,  bend,  as  of  cradle,  ship,  trees; 
same  as  tulg  or  tolg,  to  dint  (metal). 

ultach,  a  burden  (on  the  back). 

Vocabulary. 

aibeal,  impertinent,  Northend. 

aigeachd,  frolicsomeness ;  Shaw  aigantachd,  aigantas,  jollity, 
cheerfulness. 

.ainspriod,  evil  spirit ;  cf.  anbhochd,  antrom,  both  in  Shaw. 

aisridh,  an  axle. 

altar,  orderly  tidy,  from  alt,  a  joint. 

.ath-cheo,  henbane ;  perhaps  ath-theo,  allowing  for  local  pronun- 
ciation ;  Shaw  has  deothadh  and  dtheoda  ;  Armstrong,  an 
deodha ;  Macbain,  (Jetheoda,  from  Alexander  Macdonald ;  in 
Lewis  it  is  ath-teo  :  in  Skye,  di-theodha.  The  word  for 
hemlock,  iteodha,  looks  like  another  variant  of  the  same. 
Compare  the  Southend  place-name  Achenhew,  explained  as 
achadh-eo,  field  of  the  yew,  by  Dr  Cameron ;  in  Gaelic,  An 
ath-cheo ;  in  Pont's  map,  Ahew. 

baid  (a-i  dipthong),  entice,  allure ;  Shaw,  baidham  id ;  Macleod 
and  Dewar,  baith,  folly,  a  lure,  decoy  ;  the  d  of  baid  may 
have  come  from  t  of  the  passive  participle  baidhte  or  baithte. 

baid,  bait,  from  English. 

bainnigh,  a  factor,  from  baillidh  probably,  although  bainneach  is 
occasionally  used  ;  cf.  Rob  Donn's  barraidh,  a  bailie,  magis- 
trate, baron-bailie. 

baitheal,  cow's  stall ;  Shaw,  baidheal ;  M'L.  and  D.,  buaigheal. 

bathar,  whisky  ;  an  robh  bathar  aca  air  a'  ghiulan  =  had  they 
whisky  at  the  funeral  ?  Probably  bathar,  wares,  applied  to 
whisky  in  smuggling  times. 

beallaidh,  filthy,  Southend  ;  Shaw,  bealthich,  s.v.  dirty. 

beubanachd,  butchery,  mangling,  Southend;  beuban,  anything 
mangled  (Macbain) ;  cf.  Shaw,  beabh  tomb,  beabham,  to  die. 

bideau,  complaining,  incessant  pleading  or  urging. 

beileaman-ruadh,  a  species  of  hawk;  Macbain's  bealbhan-ruadh, 
from  Shaw. 

boga-leo,  Southend  (Shaw,  bogaleo),  bumpkin,  blockhead ;  Easdale, 
buige-leo. 

boidean-reothaidh,  an  icicle. 

foraigeil,   proud,  uplifted ;  cf.  bragaireachd,  and  Shaw's  spraical, 


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260  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

braile,  a  clap,  peal,  outburst  as  of  thunder,  or  sudden  rain  ;  Shaw,. 

a  heavy  rain      It  is  the  same  word  as  Shaw's  braoighille  and 

Macbain's  broighleadh. 
brailich,  MacAlpine  braighjich,  clattering  sound,  i.q.  straighlich. 
brais,  an  epileptic  or  other  fit. 

brathaigh  or  braigh,  a  blow,  stroke,  peal  (of  thunder), 
buta,  discount,  MacAlpine  difference  (in  price,  &c),  surplus,  from 

English  bate, 
buthair,  a  boor,  bumpkin. 

buthair,  Englished  "  bouer"  or  "  l>ooer,"  a  man  who  rents  cows, 
caornag,  a  wild  bees'  nest. 

carlach,  a  load  of  hay  or  straw  ;  from  earn,  sledge, 
carraigeag,  a  pancake ;   Shaw,  carruigag,  a  sort  of  pancake ;  so* 

Macleod  and  Dewar. 
casair,  a  small  hammer, 
caspainn,  a  pace. 

cataich,  tame,  reconcile  to  new  quarters,  as  a  cat. 
ceargan,  a  poor  house  boy  ;  Shaw  has  cairbhecan,  a  ship's  boy  ; 

cairbhin,  a  small  ship  ;  cairbham,  to  man  a  fleet,  &c. 
ceogag,  a  heedless  silly  woman,  Southend, 
cleighe,  a  gad-fly,  "  cleg,"  Southend, 
clearaidh,  a  dawdler,  Southend  ;  perhaps  clearaich,  from  cliar,  a 

poet, 
clearachd,  dawdling,  Southeud  ;  another  form  of  cliarachd,  singing 

feats, 
cnapalach  balaich,  a  lump  of  a  boy. 
cnocaidh,  in  clach-chnocaidh,  a  stone  hollowed  out  for  unhusking 

grain  ;  synonymous  with  cnotag.     Shaw  has  crocam,  to  beat, 

pound ;  from  gnog,  English  knock, 
coirbte,  wicked,  perverse,  E.  Ir.  corptc,  from  Latin  corruptus. 
colag,  Shaw  colog,  a  steak,   chop ;  Irish   idem,  says  Armstrong  : 

collop  and  culag  have  evidently  been  confounded, 
collagag,  for  colgag,  the  forefinger,  Southend  ;  Shaw  colagag  and 

colgag. 
crotag,  a  curlew ;  Shaw  crotach-mara  id. 
cuideil,  proud,  having  the  air  of  a  person  of  means, 
curaidh,  to  crouch  ;  cf.  curr,  a  corner ;  in  Scots  curry,  to  crouch,, 

u  is  short ;  Perthshire,  curraidh,  Welsh  cwrrian,  idem, 
daicheil,  likely,  probable  ;  tha  sin  daicheil,  from  docha,  dacha, 
dailceanta,  strong,  healthy, 
dairleanta,  or  doirleanta,  strong,  healthy. 

dalluinneag,  a  square  cavity  used  as  a  shelf  in  the  wall  of  a  room, 
dannaire,  stubborn,  obstinate ;  M'L.  and  D.  dan(n)arra. 


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The  Gaelic  Dialect  of  Arran.  261 

-dathag,  a  worm ;  so  Shaw,  Armstrong. 

diunlach,  pronounced  diulach,  a  tall  youth ;  Shaw  diunlaoch,  a 
young  hero ;  M'A.  diulach,  and  diunlach  :  Armstrong  diun- 
lach and  diulnach. 

doirbhidh,  bad,  dreadful,  nach  d-sin,  isn't  that  bad  now ;  Kil- 
brandon  duirbhidh. 

an  doran  and  an  dbrag  express  pity  and  some  degree  of  disappro- 
bation, connected  with  dbruinn. 

dritheanaich,  fits ;  chaidh  e  's  na  dritheanaigh  ghaireachdaigh,  he 
went  into  fits  of  laughter  ;  cf.  MacAlpine's  triogh,  n.  f.  fit  as 
of  coughing  or  laughing,  the  chin  cough,  the  hooping  cough  : 
Shaw  has  troighthin,  dizziness. 

dromlach  suith,  gall. 

duba,  a  pool  (in  a  river). 

duthan,  s.  m.  plu.  duthain,  kidney  ;  MacAlpine  dubhain,  s.v.  airne. 

eal,  keen,  zealous ;  nach  e  tha  eal,  how  earnest  he  is. 

eubalta  (close  e),  grand,  Northend ;  at  Shiskine  (with  e  close), 
strong,  capable ;  cf.  MacAlpine  abalt ;  Shaw  abulta,  expert, 
from  Lat.  habilis  ? 

«ugnais,  Shaw  eagnais,  want,  as  eugnais  for  as  eughinhais ; 
cf.  iunais,  aonais,  0.  Ir.  iugnais. 

eusbach,  regrettable  pity ;  b'eusbach  gu  'n,  'tis  pity  that ; 
b'eusbach,  sin,  that  was  unfortunate  ;  Shaw  has  easba,  want, 
scarcity,  defect ;  cf.  easba  braghad,  King's  evil ;  M*L.  and  D. 
Easbhuidh  is  pronounced  easuigh. 

failcion,  a  pot-lid,  the  knee-cap;  Shaw,  "knee-pan,  sgallan  no 
f  ailcion-a-ghluin ; "  Macalpine  quotes  from  Armstrong, 
"  failcean,  the  rotula  or  whirl  bone  of  the  knee." 

faireachair,  a  mallet,  Shiskine ;  cf.  fairce. 

faomhar  (ao  short),  harvest,  so  Shaw ;  Macalpine  has  fobhar  (mh 
and  bh  sounded  v) ;  from  the  same  source  as  foghar  (in  some 
dialects  fo'ar),  E.  Ir.  fogamur. 

f eumalan,  a  thistle,  Southend ;  at  Shiskirie,  fothantan ;  Macalpine, 
fonntan  ;  Macbain,  s.v.  fobhannan. 

fiafraigh,  ask  (Macbain). 

flinne,  sleet;  Shaw,  flichne  and  flichshneachd;  Macleod  an<i  Dewar, 
fliuch-8hneachd. 

foireagan,  playing  with,  teasing,  tormenting. 

forsail,  well-to-do,  prosperous,  as  tuathanach  forsail,  from  Eng. 
force  1  cf.  E.  Ir.  fortail,  able,  strong,  hardy. 

gagan,  cackling;  Shaw,  gaggan. 

.gairbhean,  complaining,  ailing,  Southend. 


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262  Gaeiic  Society  of  Inverness. 

geostan  (geothastan),  ragwort ;  perhaps  from  gaoisid  because  of 

its  tough  and  fibrous  character;  cf.  M'L.  and  D.  geosadan 

for  gaoisdean. 
glaim,  a  large  mouthful ;  Shaw  also, 
glaimh,  a  glutton,  Southend, 
gliofaid,  a  chatter-box,  Southend ;  Shiskine,  gliofan ;  Armstrong, 

"  glifid,  a  noise,  voice  Ir. ;"  so  Shaw,  who  gives  also  glifram,. 

to  prate,  make  a  noise  ;  E.  Ir.  glifid,  "  outcry,"  Stokes, 
gluis,'  slush,  also  sloppy-food  ;  Scot.  "  glush." 
gnadan,  murmuring,  complaining ;  so  Shaw, 
gogaidh,  an  egg  (a  nursery  word) ;  Lowland  Scotch,  sroggy,  idem, 
gorglais,    croaking    (of   frogs) ;    Shaw   goraiclais ;    M'L.  and  D. 

"  garraicleis,  a  noise  of  wild  geese  or  swans  ; "   goir  and  glas 

(water), 
graim,  the  expression  of  a  crying,  child, 
greighear  (close  e\  a  stallion ;  from  greigh. 
guaim,  management,   thrift;  Southend  cha  'n  eil  moran  guaim 

innte,  she  is  not  a  good  manager  (of  her  means), 
guamach,  managing,  thrifty, 
guait,  leave,  put  away ;  Shaw  guaiteam,  to  leave  off,  let  alone,  be 

quiet ;  chiefly  if  not  solely  used'  in  gabh  no  guait  e,  take  it 

or  leave  it :  uait  with  g  prefixed  for  assonance, 
gugan,  a  daisy ;  Shaw  id.,  also  a  bud,  a  flower ;  cf.  gucag,  a  bud, 

&c. 
imirc,  a  removal,  flitting;  Shaw  idem;  Macalpine  iomairc,  n.f.  and 

v.;  Ir.  imiicim,  E.  Ir.  immirge,  Macbain  s.v.  "imrich." 
lamairean,  dawdler,  trifler. 
lamhrachdaidh,  handling,  Southend,  Shaw, 
lamhragan,   fingering,    handling,    Southend,    Shaw;    at  Shiskine 

lamhargan,  handle  of  a  flail  (other  part  being  buailtean). 
lanntoir,  the  inner  apartment  of   old  Arran  houses ;    Shaw   "  a 

pantry,  partition." 
liathanach,  hoar  frost ;  Macalpine  liathnach. 
macanadh,  sobbing,  Southend, 
mathalt,  a  potato  basket, 
meuragan,   fingering,    handling,    so   Shaw;    Macalpine  has  verb 

meuragaich  and  meuraganaich. 
mlleag,  a  mean  woman  (Southend) ;  perhaps  from  miol,  notwith  - 

standing  that  /  is  slender, 
a*  .mioghlachadh,  in  suspense,  fearing  or  anticipating  evil  (South- 
end) ;  cf.  Shaw's  meogal,  medley  mixture,  and  Glenlyon  bha 

e  's  a'  mhoguil  =  he  was  hesitating,  undecided  (the  latter  a 

metaphorical  use  of  mogul,  husk). 


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The  Gaelic  Dialect  of  Arran.  263 

oircean,  Southend  (pronounced  exactly  like  oircean,  a  young  pig, 
viz.,  oirceainn),  the  horizon  or  the  heavens?  only  in  "tha 
stoirm  air  an  oircean,"  said  when  a  storm  or  squall  is  seen 
approaching ;  perhaps  aigeann  with  intrusive  r,  E.  Ir.  oician, 
from  Latin  oceanus. 

pacair,  a  packman,  from  pac, 

paclach,  the  fill  of  both  arms  of  straw,  <fec,  Southend. 

pataidh,  anything  big  of  its  kind,  Southend ;  Shaw,  patantachd, 
thickness. 

peilc,  large  stomach,  e.g.,  of  a  cow  that  has  eaten  its  fill ;  a  meta- 
phorical use  of  peillic,  E.  Ir.  pellec,  a  basket  of  untanned 
hide. 

plaid,  of  a  person  falling  his  whole  length  on  the  ground,  fhuair  e 
plaid  ;  nach  e  fhuair  a'  phlaid. 

prat,  a  tantrum 

rabhaic,  a  roar,  rabhaiceil,  roaring ;  used  in  Islay  also ;  cf.  raoic. 

racan,  mischief,  noise,  so  Shaw ;  Macbain,  racain  ;  nach  ann 
annad  tha  an  racan. 

ramaisceil,  romping,  noisy ;  cf.  ramachdair,  ramalair  ;  in  Perth- 
shire reamalair ;  and  Shaw's  reimam,  to  ramp  ;  reim,  a  troop, 
band. 

reusbaid,  a  term  of  contempt ;  "  a  beggar's  brat"  (Shaw). 

rinneach,  loose  shreds  of  skin  at  the  base  of  the  finger  nails. 

roramach,  profusely  hospitable,  from  roram. 

rotach,  the  circle  of  mud  gathered  by  one's  dress  off  muddy  roads, 
Northend ;  Shaw,  rodacht,  a  covering,  fence  ;  from  Scot,  rot, 
Eng.  rut? 

ruchail,  to  rummage,  ruchailt,  rummaging ;  Shaw,  ruchail,  tear- 
ing, cutting. 

saoidh,  a  tub ;  same  as  saidh  (and  saith,  the  back-bone,  &c.?)  cf. 
Scot,  say,  sai,  or  sey,  a  t^ub.     From  same  root  as  soitheach  ? 

sath,  ill ;  in  phrase,  Cha  dubhairt  e  math  no  sath. 

seabhas,  meaningless  talk,  nonsense  ;  also  adjective  seabhasach. 

seal-mara,  space  from  which  the  tide  has  ebbed ;  "  dol  do'n  t-seol- 
mhara,"  going  for  wilks,  sea-weed,  <fec,  as  the  case  may  be. 

sealbhan,  a  number,  a  crowd  ;  "  bha  e  sealbhan  uairean  an  so,"  he 
was  here  several  times;  from  sealbh,  a  herd,  &c.  Manx 
shallvayn,  herd. 

sgeir,  a  covering,  top  layer,  as  on  cold  porridge,  or  of  fat  on  soup, 
(fee. 

sgeirean,  drops  of  food,  <fec,  as  on  clothes ;  cf.  MacAlpine,  sgear- 
aich,  to  scatter,  &c. 

sgeirmeil,  clean,  tidy  ;  cf.  sgeilm  or  sgeinm. 


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264  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

sgeoblach,  untidy  person  or  dress  ;  cf.  MacAlpine,  sge6b,  aperture^ 

wry  mouth, 
sgioblan,  a  lapful  (Shiskine). 
sgiuirleach,  a  lapful  (Southend), 
sgluait,  a  slattern ;  cf.  sgleoid,  idem, 
sgraiteach,  ragged, 
sgreunach,  stormy,  windy, 
sgroinneach,  ragged, 
sguilear,  a  mean,  contemptible  fellow,  Southend  ;  cf.  Shaw  sguille, 

scullion, 
sibhreag,  a  fairy,  Ir.  siabhra,  &c.  <- 

smeachranachd,    tampering,    trifling,    as   with   edge    tools,    Ac  ; 

MacAlpine. 
smur,  dross,  v.  smurach. 

snagairt,  whittling,  i.e.,  snagaireachd ;  Shaw  snaigheoireachd. 
sothaisgean  (soisgean),  a  primrose,  Southend  ;  Shaw  somharcain 

and  sorigh  (i.e.  sobhraich) ;  MacAlpine  sobhrachan,  M'L.  and 

D.  samhaircean,  Manx  sumark. 
spreocainn,  a  sickly  person,  valetudinarian,  cf.  sprebchan. 
spreod,  spread  (peats  to  dry,  &c). 
sprog,  a  disease  of  sheep,  sturdy, 
spruchag,  a  hoard,  savings,  Southend;  cf.  M'L.  and  D.  broghadh, 

increase,  profit ;  Manx  prughag,  translated  "  miser"  (Moore's 

Folklore,  p.  184). 
stroid,  Southend,  synonym  for  rotach  (supra), 
strubladh,  a  beating  with  wind  and  rain  ;  's  e  fhuair  a  strubladh, 

of  one  who  has  been  out  in  wind  and  rain, 
stuaic,  a  wry  neck,  E.  Ir.  stuag,  an  arch, 
sumhail,   pronounced    suil,   quiet ;    Shaw   suidheal,  quiet,   calm, 

sedate,  noble  ;  MacAlpine,  of  little  bulk,  portable,  of  a  person 

humble,  obedient,  obsequious ;  at  Shiskine  suin,  influenced 

probably  by  ciuin. 
tainneadh,  thaw ;  Shaw  taithnadh,  taithnan,  to  thaw  ;  Macbain 

tainneamh. 
te,  thick  as  soup,  gruel,  &c.     In  Skye  when  fish,  milk,  preserves, 

&c,  take  the  bitter  or  sharp  taste  caufced  by  fermentation, 

they  are  said  to  be  te.     Cf.  teuchd,   to  congeal,  &c,    Ir. 

teuchdaim,  to  curdle,  &c. 
turradan,  rocking  oneself  as   one  in  grief  ;  "  nodding,"   Shaw  ; 

MacAlpine  has  turraman  and  turram,  with  verbs  turramain 

and  turraim  ;  North  turraban  ;  at  Shiskine  air  thurrachdain, 

shaking, 
usaid,  use,  (noun),  so  Ir.  usaidich  (verb),  usaidech,  useful. 


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The  Gaelic  Dialect  of  Arran.  265 

There  are  one  or  two  uses  of  borrowed  words,  which  are  some- 
what interesting : — 

Nach  tu  th'  aims  a  ghe'll  (open  e),  said  to  anyone  in  great  haste  ; 
English  gale. 

Rinn  e  mach  a  phut  (u  as  in  Eng.  "  shut"),  he  accomplished  his 
purpose  or  his  task ;  from  Eng.  "  bit,"  originally  used  of 
shearers  finishing  their  share  of  a  field. 

Rinn  iad  s'eusar  orra  (first  s  broad),  they  made  a  seizure  (in  con- 
nection with  smuggling)  ;  Eng.  seizure  ;  Shaw's  siasar,  a 
session,  assizes,  and  MacAlplne's  seusar,  acme,  perfection,  &c. 
(turning  point,  crisis)  seem  to  show  the  same  origin. 

t6th,  eagerness,  inclination,  <fec,  Southend ;  ann  an  toth  dol  ann, 
eager  to  go ;  ann  an  t6th  leis,  greatly  attracted  to,  or  taken 
up  by  it  or  him  ;  English  "  in  tow." 


18th  FEBRUARY,  1897. 

At  the  meeting  this  evening,  Rev.  James  Macdonald,  Reay  ; 
Rev.  Archibald  Macdonald,  Kiltarlity;  and  Mr  R.  T.  Stewart, 
Commercial  Bank,  Tain,  were  elected  ordinary  members  of  the 
Society. 

A  communication  from  the  Gaelic  Society  of  London  soliciting 
the  support  of  the  Society  towards  a  proposed  deputation  to  Lord 
Balfour  anent  the  teaching  of  Gaelic  in  Highland  Schools,  on 
similar  lines  as  of  Welsh  in  Welsh  Schools,  was  submitted,  and  it 
was  agreed  to  countenance  and  support  the  movement. 

Thereafter,  Rev.  James  Macdonald,  Reay,  delivered  a  paper 
entitled  "Fauns  and  Fairies."     The  paper  was  as  follows : — 

FAUNS  AND  FAIRIES. 

Since  the  day  on  which  the  Rev.  Robert  Kirk,  minister  at 
Aberfoil,  "  went  to  his  own  herd,"  in  1692,  our  knowledge  of 
fairies  has  made  no  appreciable  advance.  When  men  ceased  to 
prosecute  witches  and  burn  them,  the  traditions  of  the  past  were 
by  mutual  consent  forgotten,  and  the  prevalent  type  of  Christian- 
ity put  curious  prying  into  the  unknown  under  a  ban.  So  it 
happened  that  during  the  latter  half  of  the  seventeenth,  and  the 
whole  of  the  eighteenth  century  Scotland,  forgot  its  folk-lore. 
Old  stories  with  a  spice  of  Paganism  were  deemed  unsuited  for 


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266  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

grave  and  sober  Presbyterian  households.  Even  the  cherished 
traditions  of  the  Roman  Catholic  church  were  regarded  as  some- 
thing more  than  harmless  superstition,  and  treated  accordingly. 
In  odd  corners  the  older  folk-lore  stories  remained.  Men  could 
tell  tales  of  battle  where  other  heroes  than  the  Great  Twin 
Brothers  led  the  van,  and  record,  with  minute  amplification  of 
circumstance,  scenes  of  midnight  carouse  and  revel,  at  which 
immortals  appeared  and  claimed  the  service  and  homage  of  those 
whose  spirits  were  congenial  to  the  forgotten  cult.  Gradually  the 
beliefs  or  superstitions  of  Christianity  displaced  the  ancestral 
spirits  fiom  their  sylvan  homes,  and  substituted  a  kind  of  personal 
devil,  clad  in  bull  hide  and  smelling  evilly  of  brimstone,  thus 
transforming  beautiful  legends  and  stories  of  folk-lore  of  untold 
value  into  grotesque  representations  of  a  Christianity  little  under- 
stood and  rarely  practised. 

When  science  began  to  sift  medieval  and  modern  accretions 
from  the  ancient,  little  which  was  of  direct  value  was  left ;  and 
only  by  infinite  pains,  and  compariug  beliefs,  customs,  ceremonial 
acts  and  usages  in  widely  separated  countries  could  a  measure  of 
certainty  be  arrived  at,  and  this  is  particularly  the  case  in  regard 
to  the  subject  of  this  paper.  Of  theories  and  writing  we  have 
enough  and  more  than  enough.  Scattered  through  the  records  of 
trials  in  court,  enquiries  before  ecclesiastics,  theological  disserta- 
tions on  demonology,  diaries  and  curious  essays,  there  is  no  lack 
of  counsel ;  but  any  one  who  is  acquainted  with  Kirk's  essay  on 
"  Fairies,  Elves,  and  Fauns,"  and  Martin's  "  Description  of  the 
Western  Islands,"  must  feel  that  both  ancient  and  modern 
theorists  have  not  much  more  to  relate.  That  a  great  deal  of 
good  work  has  been  done  since  then  every  one  knows,  but  this  has 
been  by  way  of  wider  research  in  other  fields,  illustration  and 
comparison  of  facts  already  recorded,  and  a  closer  application  of 
scientific  methods  to  the  elucidation  of  the  facts  folk-lore  has  to 
teach.  But  this  has  not  greatly  added  to  our  direct  knowledge  of 
how  our  ancestors  viewed  the  fairy  world  ;  that  we  learn  rather 
by  inference  than  by  fresh  discovery  within  our  own  borders. 

In  discussing  the  subject  of  fairies  we  much  approach  it  as 
antiquarians,  folk-lorists,  and  anthropologists ;  for  beyond  all 
doubt  fairy  cult  is  a  complex  thing,  and  is  based  on  material 
supplied  by  tradition  going  back  thousands  of  years :  on  the  facts 
of  nature  and  unexplained  phenomena,  as  rappings,  loud  noises, 
mysterious  movement  of  bodies,  lights  and  phantoms,  and  all  the 
complex  powers  of  the  unknown  as  these  presented  themselves  to 
primitive  man  as  he  looked  out  upon  the  world,  and  as  they  re- 


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Fauns  and  Fairies.  26T 

shaped  themselves  through  ages  upon  ages  of  an  evolution 
imperceptible  in  its  upward  movement — here  leaving  an  ancient 
belief  behind  forever,  there  seizing  on  a  new  thought  and  clinging 
to  it  with  the  same  tenacity  with  which  man  clings  to  life  itself. 

In  this  paper  I  propose  to  glance  first  at  a  few  of  the  more 
common  fairy  beliefs  and  legends,  and  then  endeavour  to  trace 
their  origin  and  how  they  are  allied  to  other  phases  of  folk-lore 
and  myth.  And  to  revert  to  Robert  Kirk.  Before  he  "  went  to 
his  own  herd,"  he  had  no  manner  of  doubt  regarding  the  actual 
physical  existence  of  fairies,  and  with  rare  glimpses  of  the  scientific 
method,  sets  himself  to  explain  the  undoubted  facts.  His  evidence 
in  this  respect  is  of  more  value  than  Martin's,  who  simply  records 
many  Celtic  beliefs  and  customs  as  a  curious  survival.  Kirk's 
pamphlet  does  not  appear  to  have  been  published  till  compara- 
tively recently,  but  Lord  Reay  saw  it  about  the  close  of  the 
seventeenth  century,  and  Scott  had  access  to  it  at  the  time  when 
he  wrote  the  letters  to  Loekhart.  These,  and  a  number  of  his 
poems  and  ballads,  are  largely  indebted  to  the  minister  of  Aberfoil. 
When  Kirk  wrote,  probably  about  1680,  unseen  beings  abounded, 
castles  were  haunted,  lakes  and  rivers  had  their  denizens,  witches 
practised  their  evil  arts,  and  kirk  sessions  exercised  their  diligence 
in  rooting  out  these  public  pests  ;  and  to  doubt  the  existence  of 
fairies  would  have  been  to  have  exposed  his  own  orthodoxy  to  a 
severe  strain.     So  his  science  must  yield  to  acknowledged  facts. 

His  fairy  bodies  are  congealed  air  or  essence.  They  have,  or 
assume,  the  human  form,  but  are  diminutive  and  most  frequently 
invisible.  They  eat,  but  not  our  gross  material  food,  for  only  the 
finest  spirituous  essences  serve  to  sustain  them.  These  they 
extract  or  suck  out  of  ordinary  substances,  and  neither  corn  nor 
milk  comes  amiss  to  them.  They  have  been  known  to  impoverish 
whole  fields  so  that  the  meal  made  from  the  corn  had  no  sustain- 
ing power,  nor  would  barley  so  affected  make  whisky.  The  little 
people  can  work,  and  they  have  been  heard  striking  with  hammers 
as  a  smith  at  a  forge ;  but  their  only  visible  work  is  the  elf 
arrow.  They  change  their  place  of  residence  quarterly,  and  where 
there  is  at  one  period  of  the  year  high  revel,  with  music  and  the 
dance,  there  is  at  another  nothing  but  the  silence  of  the  everlast- 
ing hills.  As  they  migrate  from  place  to  place  they  swim  on  air 
low  down  above  the  ground,  and  men,  seers  that  is,  have  often 
seen  them  travelling  through  space,  and  felt  a  rush  as  of  wings, 
with  low  musical  notes  which  filled  earth  and  air  as  they  went. 

Among  fairies  there  are  orders,  kings,  more  often  queens,  and 
commoners.     The  latter  are  divided  into  various  grades,  chiefs,. 


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268  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness 

masters,  servants,  slaves.  They  attend  at  all  banquets,  marriages, 
and  funerals,  and  take  part  of  the  provision  made  for  those  who 
attend,  not  in  its  gross  material  form — they  simply  extract  its 
essence  and  regale  themselves  on  this  ethereal  fare.  They  help 
to  carry  the  body  to  the  place  of  sepulture  at  funerals,  and  take 
part  in  all  the  ceremonies  connected  therewith,  except  those  of  a 
religious  or  Christian  character.  They  go  fishing  on  stream  and 
tarn  in  the  guise  of  monks  in  cowl  and  hood.  Men  have  fairies 
as  their  co-walker  or  double,  and  these  are  never  separate  from  their 
human  second  self.  A  voracious  eater  does  not  require  more  food 
for  his  support  than  another  man,  but  an  elf  is  his  co-walker  and 
must  be  daily  fed.  Our  reverend  author  prescribes  no  remedy  for 
this  form  of  possession,  but  there  are  other  fairy  evils  he  knows 
how  to  cure.  For  example ;  when  a  cow  calves,  if  some  of  her 
dung  is  smeared  on  the  calf's  mouth  before  it  sucks,  no  harm  can 
come  to  the  milk 'during  the  season.  When  a  mother  just  begins 
nursing  her  new  born  infant,  a  bible,  iron,  or  a  piece  of  bread 
placed  in  her  bed  will  prevent  her  being  stolen  by  the  fairies  to 
nurse  elf  children,  a  common  occurrence  in  those  old  days  at  Aber- 
foil.  Of  all  substances  the  little  people  feared  iron  most;  and  that 
because  hell  lies  between  the  chill  tempest  and  hot  scalding 
metals,  and  no  sooner  does  a  fairy  smell  iron  than  it  fears  and 
flies.  Fairy  clothing  resembles  that  of  the  country  where  they 
dwell.  Its  colour  is  always  green.  At  Aberfoil  they  wore 
kilts  ;  in  Ayrshire  trews  !  They  become  old  and  die,  but  not  as 
we  do  ;  for  nothing  ever  perishes  in  fairyland.  Everything  goes 
on  in  circles  lesser  or  greater,  but  continuing  for  ever  and  renew- 
ing all  that  revolves,  every  change  being  but  a  kind  of  transmigra- 
tion into  new  forms.  Nor  is  the  mystic  land  devoid  of  literature  ; 
but  the  books  are  so  learned,  involved,  and  abstruse,  that  mortal 
man  has  never  been  able  to  unravel  their  contents. 

The  wraith,  or  death  messenger  from  elf-land  may  be  insulted, 
and  his  vengeful  rage  knows  no  bounds,  only  his  wrath  may  be 
appeased  by  the  death  of  an  animal,  whether  offered  directly  in 
sacrifice  or  not  the  record  does  not  relate.  The  coming  of  this 
elf  land  wraith  seers  can  foretell.  They  have  seen  him  and  have 
entered  into  combat  with  him.  But  he  is  impalpable  and  invul- 
nerable, for  he  may  be  cut  through  with  a  sword  blade  with  no 
resistance  and  no  result ;  the  blade  simply  passes  as  through  the 
liquid  air.  On  the  other  hand  he  has  wrestled  with  seers,  and 
many  a  sore  combat  has  been  waged  on  the  heathery  hill-side 
between  those  who  could  see  farther  than  their  fellows,  and  the 
mysterious  figures,  half  light,  half  darkness,  which  met  with  them 


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Fauns  and  Fairies.  269 

and  maimed  not  a  few  of  them  for  the  remainder  of  their  days — 
which  same  may  be  a  kind  of  Pagan  paraphrase  of  the  well-known 
story  of  Jacob  by  the  Jabbock.  The  spirit-world  messenger 
inflicted  his  wounds  with  elf-arrows,  and  these  left  no  visible  mark 
though  the  wound  was  mortal.  The  only  hope  of  cure  was  to 
find  the  spot  where  the  arrow  entered  the  body,  and  place  one's 
finger  upon  it.  As  men  were  wounded  to  death  by  these  fairyland 
weapons,  so,  too,  were  cows  and  other  domestic  animals.  After 
such  wounds  they  pined  and  died  with  no  visible  sign  of  injury. 

Departed  human  souls  frequently  dwell  in  fairy  hills,  and  are 
identified  with  the  fairy  folk.  Numerous  instances  are  related  of  their 
being  seen  and  even  recovered.  When  our  reverend  historian 
"  went  to  his  own  herd,"  it  was  revealed  to  a  seer,  after  his  sup- 
posed burial,  that  he  was  not  dead,  and  that  the  coffin  contained 
nothing  but  leaves.  On  a  certain  night  he  was  to  reappear,  and 
f  a  relative,  named  to  the  seer,  threw  his  dirk  over  him  he  would 
remain ;  if  not,  vanish  for  ever  to  the  land  of  mirth  and  song. 
He  did  appear,  but  the  man  who  alone  could  detain  him  among 
mortals  got  so  excited  that  he  only  threw  the  dirk  as  the  minister 
vanished  into  thin  air.  It  was  too  late.  He  had  gone  to  his  own 
land,  and  was  seen  no  more.  He  still,  doubtless,  visits  the  scenes 
of  his  mortal  life  on  winter  nights  when  the  moon  is  full. 

The  vanished  world  of  those  days  could  not  get  along  without 
its  seers.  Men  became  soothsayers  by  training.  An  essential  part 
of  the  rites  of  initiation  was,  that  the  novice  should  make  himself 
a  girdle  from  a  horse  hair  tether  which  had  been  used  in  binding 
a  dead  body  to  a  bier.  With  this  girdle  about  his  loins  he  must 
stoop  downward  and  look  backwards  between  his  legs  till  he  saw 
a  funeral  approach  and  cross  two  marches  between  lands  or  farms. 
Another  method  of  watching  an  approaching  funeral  was  through  a 
hole  in  a  board  where  a  wood  knot  had  fallen  out.  Having 
attained  to  second  sight,  the  seer  could  tell  the  future  by  looking 
through  the  shoulder-blade  of  a  sheep,  and  this  was  a  sure  method 
of  detecting  any  misdemeanours  in  the  owner's  household.  A  man 
who  doubted  his  wife's  fidelity,  had  but  to  present  a  shoulder  of 
mutton  to  the  seer,  and  the  facts  were  revealed. 

But  the  erratic  movements  of  wives  were  not  always  the 
result  of  fancy  for  a  handsome  man.  Fairies  stole  them,  and  only 
a  seer  could  restore  the  abducted  spouse  to  her  sorrowing  lord  ; 
and  our  author  puts  one  well-authenticated  case  on  record  of  a 
wife  being  stolen,  and  a  fairy  woman  substituted  in  her  place. 
The  eK-wife  died  and  was  buried.  After  a  suitable  period  the 
widower  consoled  himself  with  a  "fair  and  comely  maiden"  as  his 


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270  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

second  wife.  At  the  end  of  two  years  the  original  wife  was 
restoied,  but  whether  she  proved  a  kind  of  Enoch  Ardeu  the 
history  does  not  relate.  The  author,  however,  adds  that  "  there 
is  an  art,  not  superstition,  for  recovering  the  stolen."  It  is  a  pity 
he  did  not  deem  it  worth  wThile  to  put  the  art  on  record,  only 
being  well  known  and  authenticated,  this  was  unnecessary  in  his 
day,  and  it  is  to  be  feared  it  has  been  lost.  He  does  tell  us  a 
number  of  marvellous  facts,  of  which  the  following  is  one  : — Lord 
Tarbat  met  a  seer  in  the  west  of  Ross-shire.  He  was  working  in 
a  field,  and  Tarbat  having  observed  him  looking  intently  towards 
a  hill  above  the  place  where  he  was  working,  asked  him  if  he  saw 
any  thing.  He  replied  that  he  saw  a  troop  of  soldiers  leading  their 
horses  down  the  hill,  and  turning  them  loose  to  graze  in  a  field  of 
barley.  This  ™as  on  the  4th  of  May.  In  August  of  that  same 
year,  a  party  of  soldiers  under  Colonel  Middleton  led  their  horses 
down  the  hill  in  question,  and  turned  them  loose  to  graze  in  the 
very  field  where  the  seer  was  sowing  his  barley  in  the  previous 
May  when- he  saw  them. 

This  brief  summary  of  the  contents  of  Mr  Kirk's  pamphlet 
gives  pretty  well  the  substance  of  what  was  known 
of  fairies  two  centuries  ago,  and  all  the  stories  gathered 
aince  then,  may  be  regarded  as  a  mere  amplification  and  fuller 
illustration  of  what  was  well-known  and  universally  believed 
-about  the  time  of  the  Reformation. 

In  "  Waifs  and  Strays  of  Celtic  Tradition  "  we  have  a  number 
of  familiar  stories  of  work  done  by  fairies- -their  tireless  energy, 
the  spells  they  laid  upon  people,  how  inanimate  objects  did  their 
bidding,  and  how  men  outwitted  them.  The  same  is  found  in  the 
pages  of  Kennedy's  book  regarding  Irish  fairies.  As  we  advance 
we  see  a  kind  of  Christianised  Paganism  opposing  itself  to  the 
forces  of  demonology,  and  in  accordance  with  the  trend  of  the 
prevalent  theology  prevailing.  For  example  : — A  diligent  house- 
wife is  busily  engaged  preparing  yarn  for  cloth.  She  is  both 
careful  and  worldly.  Sleep  has  departed  from  her  eyes,  and  as 
tihe  spins  after  the  witching  hour  has  struck,  she  keeps  wishing 
she  had  some  one  to  help  her  in  her  labours.  Obedient  to  her 
wish  a  fairy  enters  and  begins  to  spin,  another  comes  and  takes 
to  carding  the  wool,  then  another  and  another,  till  they  convert 
the  house  into  a  workshop,  and  the  whirr  of  labour  is  heard  afar. 
The  husband  sleeps  and  snores,  nor  is  his  rest  disturbed  by  the 
busy  scene.  The  wife  provides  refreshment  for  her  guests,  and 
they  devour  all  she  can  give  them — they  are  more  materialistic 
than  Kirk's.     She  now  wished  to  be  rid  of  them  but  could  not,  so 


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Fauns  and  Fairies.  271 

she  hurried  to  a  wise  man.  The  seer  told  her  that  her  husband  was 
under  a  spell,  and  that  she  must  return  to  the  house,  and  before 
she  enters  shout  three  times — "  Burgh  ill  is  on  fire ; "  and  when 
the  fairies  rushed  out  to  see  if  their  house  was  destroyed  she  must 
enter  and  disarrange  everything  in  the  house.  This  she  did,  and 
when  the  fairies  returned  one  called  out  "  Spinning  wheel  open 
the  door."  "  I  cannot,  my  band  is  off."  And  so  all  the  other 
articles,  wool  cards,  water  pails,  chairs, 'and  tables. 

Fairy  visits  did  not  always  end  thus.  The  miller  of  Alva  had 
his  wife  spirited  away,  and  had  infinite  labour  before  recovering 
her  ;  while  the  smith  of  Tullibody  saw  his  never  no  more.  Work- 
ing a  bar  of  iron  he  heard  the  abductors  sing  as  they  flew  up  the 
chimney — 

"  Deedle  Linkum  Doddie,. 

We've  gotten  drunken  Davie's  wife, 

The  smith  of  Tullibody." 

The  theft  of  children  was  more  frequent  than  the  abduction  of 
wives,  and  when  a  child  was  taken  an  elfin  was  substituted  ;  but 
they  do  not  appear  to  have  succeeded  in  grafting  our  heavier 
mortality  on  to  their  own  aerial  bodies.  Even  thefts  were  not 
always  on  one  side,  for  a  man  rushing  in  upon  a  fairy  festival  and 
carrying  off  their  drinking  goblet  could  keep  it  as  an  heirloom 
and  cornucopia  for  all  time,  if  he  only  succeeded  in  crossing  a 
running  stream  before  being  overtaken  by  the  revellers  whom  he 
despoiled,  a  fact  immortalised  by  the  famous  riding  exploit  of  Tarn 
o'  Shanter  and  his  grey  mare.  One  such  fairy  goblet  is  preserved 
at  Edenhall,  in  Cumberland.  This  was  secured  by  one  of  the 
ancient  family  of  Musgrove,  and  while  it  is  preserved  prosperity 
attends  their  house  ;  but 

"  If  this  glass  do  break  or  fall, 
Farewell  the  luck  of  Edenhall." 

A  more  useful  motto  than  the  rhyme  of  the  Clydesdale  ploughboys 
of  a  past  generation,  who  believed  if  they  but  sang  as  they  turned 
at  the  end  of  the  rig, 

"  Fairy,  fairy,  bake  me  a  baunock  and  roast  me  a  collop, 
And  I'll  gie  ye  a  sportle  aff  my  gad  end," 

that  at  the  fourth  round  these  desirable  delicacies  should  be  there 
waiting  for  them. 


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272  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

The  fairies  were  on  the  whole  a  good-natured  sportive  folkr 
but  touchy  on  matters  of  names,  and  revengeful  of  insults  aud 
injuries.  They  differed  from  brownies  or  domestic  spirit  drudges. 
The  latter  were  given  to  eavesdropping  and  tale-beariug,  and 
frequently  accused  others  when  they  were  themselves  the  culprits. 
One  who  did  drudgery  for  a  very  close-fisted  Galloway  matron, 
who  gave  her  servants  but  poor  fare  and  little  of  it,  is  a  typical 
example.  Two  servant  girls  stole  a  bowl  of  milk  and  a  bannock. 
In  order  to  make  a  fair  division  of  the  spoil,  they  sat  on  a  bench 
and  took  alternate  mouthfuls  of  the  bread  and  milk.  Presently 
the  one  accused  the  other  of  taking  more  than  her  fair  share,  and 
was  answered  by  a  similar  charge.  Suddenly  they  were  startled 
by  a  "  Ha,  ha !  Brownie  has't ;  Brownie  tells."  These  domestic 
spirits  and  fairies  blend  together  in  many  of  our  folk-lore  stories. 
For  example  : — A  steward  during  the  winter  months  steals  small 
quantities  of  his  master's  grain.  In  spring  he  has  enough  to  sow 
a  field  for  himself,  which  he  does  ;  but  when  the  corn  is  fully 
ripe,  the  fairies  from  a  neighbouring  Shi  pull  up  every  stalk, 
thrash  it  clean,  and  deposit  the  grain  in  the  barn  of  the  man  from 
whom  the  seed  was  stolen.  This  is  doubtless  Brownie's  work 
though  attributed  to  fairies.  It  has  besides  a  modern  flavour,  and 
leaves  an  uncomfortable  impression  of  copy-book  head-lines  and 
adaptations,  by  some  shrewd  ecclesiastic  in  the  days  when  fairies 
were  still  real  beings,  and  scientists  had  not  learned  to  call 
"  brimstone"  by  its  more  modern  name. 

But  our  fairy  cult  as  a  whole  represents  them  as  a  free, 
rollicking,  social  pagan  society — music  and  the  dance,  midnight 
rides  and  wanderings,  elvish  pranks  and  light  laughter  covers  the 
canvas,  and  any  departure  from  this  can  only  be  regarded  as  the 
growing  spirit  of  austerity  in  the  religious  opinions  of  the  people, 
and  that  this  gave  a  gloomy  bias  to  certain  traditions  and  a  moral 
or  rather  theological  trend  to  others.  This  is  borne  out  by  the 
well-known  fact  that  modern  English  fairies  are  more  sportive 
than  their  Scotch  cousins.  Naturally  the  fairy  legends  tend  all 
over  Europe  to  merge  into  the  common  doctrines  of  demonology, 
and  this  is  the  more  natural  as  the  same  process  goes  on  among 
savage  men,  with  every  advance  of  thought,  as  we  shall  see.  The 
green  patches  called  "  the  guidman's  croft,"  which  our  ancestors 
never  disturbed  with  spade  or  ploughshare,  were,  though  not 
expressly  avowed  within  historic  times,  sacred  to  spirits,  fairies, 
or  pagan  gods,  and  so  passed  over  as  by  right  of  inheritance  to  the 
more  modern  devil.  This  is  all  the  more  certain,  as  beneficent 
gods  were  favourable  to  agriculture  the  world  over,  and  the  fairy 


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Fauns  and  Fairies.  273 

knowe  and  guid  man's  croft  were  left  untilled,  first  from  reverence  ; 
then  through  fear  of  malign  influences.  Again,  the  Ourisk  or 
domestic  spirit  resembles  Pan,  and  is  something  between  a  goat 
and  a  man ;  hence  a  goat's  head  being  mnde  representative  of  the 
devil.  One  of  these  Ourisks  becomes  troublesome  to  a  miller  down 
Lochlomond  way.  On  being  caught  red-handed  and  challenged,, 
it  give3  its  name  as  "  Myself."  Here  we  have  the  "  Outis  "  of  the 
Odyssey,  transferred  from  the  shores  of  the  Mediterranean  to  the 
banks  of  Lochlomond  by  a  process  of  oral  tradition  which  has 
gone  on,  the  world  over,  since  first  men  dispersed  themselves  and 
carried  with  them  to  their  new  abodes  the  little  stock  in  trade 
with  which  the  race  emerged  from  its  cradle. 

The  working  machinery  of  tradition  the  world  over  is  a  dwarf 
race  and  their  doings.  A  people  untamed  and  untamable, 
impalpable  and  invulnerable,  and  these  we  find  in  England  as  in 
Scotland ;  dwelling  in  green  glades  in  Dorset,  in  caves  in  Shet- 
land ;  frequenting  ancient  ruins  in  the  Highlands  ;  'hid  in  the 
depths  of  the  forest  in  Germany ;  wandering  on  the  mountain  tops 
in  East  Central  Africa  ;  and  making  their  home  with  the  Bengal 
tiger  on  the  plains  of  India.  They  keep  the  Breton  peasant  in  a 
state  of  perpetual  fear,  and  their  favour  must  be  bought  in  New 
Caledonia.  Clearly  we  must  look  for  some  explanation  which  will 
account  for  world-wide  facts  like  these  elsewhere  than  among  the 
Scottish  "  Pechts,"  worthy  burrowers  as  they  must  have  been. 

The  Celtic  peoples  of  Europe  being  essentially  an  imaginative 
race,  ascribe  to  their  sylvan  pigmies  social  and  convivial 
qualities  of  which  we  hear  nothing  among  peoples  of  different 
origin  But  this  is  nothing  more  than  a  detail  resulting  from 
special  characteristics,  both  national  and  individual,  and  these 
social  qualities  freely  ascribed  by  tradition  to  its  heroes  easily 
pass  into  an  organised  fairy  society,  corresponding  to  what 
existed  during  the  oldest  memories  of  the  race  preserving  the 
traditions.  Kings,  queens,  courts,  courtiers,  splendid  halls,  feasts, 
brilliant  surroundings,  loyalty,  love,  revenge — these  are  the 
necessary  trappings  in  which  the  Celtic  imagination  clothes  its 
puppets.  These  are  the  things  most  loved  and  sought  after  by 
any  typical  Celt.  It  is  only  when  a  seer — a  seer  of  Christian 
times,  be  it  observed — has  a  vision  of  elfland,  that  its  glory  turns 
to  dust  and  ashes,  and  its  banquets  to  tasteless  and  saltless 
insipidity.  Then  fairy  bodies  shrink  into  the  shrivelled  decrepi- 
tude of  old  age,  and  intercourse  with  them  is  converted  into 
a  social  crime  and  deadly  sin. 

18 


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'274:  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

Nor  could  the  Celtic  imagination  be  otherwise,  for  the  Celt 
himself  is  a  curious  bundle  of  contradictions.  The  man  who  in 
the  early  morning  would  commit  the  most  cold-blooded  murder 
to  save  his  chief  the  trouble  or  danger  of  slaying  an  enemy  later 
in  the  day,  would  spend  the  evening  composing  love  ditties  with 
no  sense  of  incongruity.  The  chief  himself,  impoverished  beyond 
the  hope  of  solvency,  assumes  the  airs  of  a  man  able  to  dispense 
princely  hospitality  without  the  slightest  inconvenience  or  financial 
difficulty,  and  every  clansman  speaks  of  his  chief  as  regal  in 
dignity  and  princely  in  fortune,  even  should  he  have  suffered  the 
deepest  indignities  at  his  hands  but  a  day  before.  Passion  and 
poetry,  love  and  revenge,  cruelty  and  pathos,  individual  inde- 
pendence and  absolute  loyalty  to  the  chief  or  the  cause,  blend 
together  in  the  Celtic  character  with  no  sense  of  incongruity 
left,  and  the  Celt  is  the  same  to  day,  or  the  breed  and  blood  is 
the  same,  as  when  Somerled  roved  the  Western  seas,  giving  short 
shrift  and  a  long  halter,  to  any  unfortunate  wight  who  raised 
unnecessary  scruples  about  adopting  the  clan  name  and  wearing 
the  heather  badge. 

Sleeping  on  a  dun-Shi  exposed  one  to  the  danger  of  being 
transported  to  fairyland,  leaving  no  trace  of  the  unhappy 
wight's  whereabouts  except  his  bonnet  placed  on  the  top 
of  some  church  steeple  as  he  sped  his  aerial  flight.  But 
the  journey  was  not  always  through  the  limped  blue,  for 
Jane  Thomas  travelled  to  elfland  mounted  on  the  "  lady's 
own  milk  white  steed,"  and  left  the  north  wind  behind. 
It  was  not  so  long  after  the  Rhymer  made  his  famous  pilgrimage 
to  the  farthest  confines  of  elfland  that  a  new  bias  was  given  to 
the  graphic  stories  of  a  long-forgotten  past.  We  find  the  Earl  of 
Orrery  sending  his  valet  or  butler  to  buy  playing  cards,  which 
were  now  veritable  "  devil's  books."  While  on  his  errand  he  was 
invited  to  join  a  fairy  revel.  This  he  refused  to  do,  and  hurried 
home ;  but  he  was  almost  carried  away  bodily,  though  Lord  Orrery 
and  two  bishops  held  him  down — rather  a  poor  certificate  to  the 
power  of  book,  bell,  and  candle. 

It  was  possible  to  hold  converse  with  fairy-land  without 
journeying  thither  and  taking  up  one's  abode  there.  Bessie 
Dunlop  met  Thomas  Reid,  who  was  killed  at  Pinkie,  and  had  long 
conferences  with  him.  He  stood  by  her  and  showed  her  fairy 
horsemen  when  others  saw  nothing.  Through  him  she  became 
familiar  with  all  the  mysteries  of  the  unseen  world,  and  at  her 
trial  gloried  in  her  knowledge  and  power.  Poor  Bessie,  whether 
luuatio  or  driven  mad  by  torture  we  do   not  know,  for  all  the 


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Fauns  and  Fairies.  275 

recoid  we  have  of  her  is  it  note  scrawled  on  the  margin  of  the  trial 
record — "  Convict  and  burnt/ '  Alison  Pearson  was  another  who 
had  her  familiars  from  fairy-land.  One  William  Simpson,  a 
cousin,  who  was  "  taken  away  by  a  man  of  Egypt,*  came  to  her 
clad  in  green,  and  told  her  what  men  may  not  know  nor  maidens 
drea-ri.  He  always  left  abruptly  when  adjured  in  God's  name, 
which  is  another  copy  book  headline  if  you  please.  Alison  affected 
to  cure  diseases  by  elfine  arts,  and  Patrick  Adamson,  Bishop  of  St 
Andrews,  who  suffered  from  some  intractable  malady,  submitted 
to  her  cures.  The  old  pagan  was  promptly  "libelled"  by  his  * 
peers.  Besides  effecting  cures  she  delivered  oracles.  She  met 
Lethington  and  Buccleuch  in  fairyland,  and  we  can  only  hope  that 
these  turbulent  spirits  had  a  less  stormy  existence  among  the 
green  knowes  and  the  elves  who  dwell  there,  than  they  had  as 
•courtiers  and  rebels  by  turns.  Alison's  fairy  friends  stole  infants 
because  they  had  to  pay  a  yearly  tribute  to  Tartarus,  and  mortal 
infants  stolen  helped  to  make  up  the  tale.  For  her  tamperi-ig 
with  green  men  and  dead  politicians  Alison  Pearson  followed 
Bessie  Dunlop,  and  went  to  her  own  herd  in  lurid  flames  ;  and 
men  looked,  and  as  they  saw  the  smoke  ascending,  blessed  God 
who  had  given  power  to  holy  men  to  root  out  evil-doers. 

Setting  the  legend  of  "  True  Thomas  "  aside,  which  is  simply  a 
Scotch  version  of  Numa  and  Egeria,  we  have,  in  the  statements  of 
those  who  professed  to  hold  converse  with  the  unseen  world,  the 
imagination  run  riot  after  a  confession  had  been  wrung  from  them 
by  torture.  Once  that  was  made,  all  subsequent  statements  were 
simply  the  grouping  together  and  localising  of  all  the  folk-lore 
stones  they  knew.  One  can  understand  a  woman  with  a  distinct 
individuality  tortured  into  a  confession,  and  knowing  she  had 
neither  love  nor  pity  to  expect,  simply  glorying  in  scandalising 
her  legal  and  clerical  examiners  by  each  enormity  she  confessed. 
At  this  distance  of  time  we  cannot  reduce  to  their  original  form 
the  stories  they  adapted  ;  but  certain  it  is  that,  after  examination 
by  torture,  they  personified  the  heroes  of  ancient  story,  and  even 
this  throws  us  back  a  step,  and  brings  us  nearer  to  the  real  fairy- 
land we  are  in  search  of. 

The  Welsh  Nicneven  is  but  a  hag,  a  bad  reproduction  of  the 
Greek  Hecate,  and  has  little  in  common  with  the  jolly  and  con- 
vivial Mab.  The  Morayshire  trials  do  not  add  much  to  what  we 
learn  from  the  two  already  referred  to.  But  they  all  point  back 
to  a  time  when  woodland  deities  abounded,  and  when  these  passed 
into  elves,  fauns,  and  fairies.  They  are  sportive  or  malevolent, 
according  as  the  ideas  of  the  Reformation  or  the  pagan  Renaissance 


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276  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

were  pushed  and  almost  forced  upon  the  people.  The  old  belief sy 
deities,  superstitions,  and  traditions  must  be  adapted  or  disposed 
of  as  the  case  may  be.  A  death  by  summary  violence  they 
refused  to  accept  ;  but  being  violently  driven  out,  and  the 
tolerant  indulgence  of  the  older  religion  and  science  being  no 
longer  possible,  the  gods  retired  to  fairyland.  They  continued  to 
revisit  mortals  as  guardian  spirits,  and  in  this  form  the  Church 
found  some  use  for  them.  A  Banshi  gave  Macleod  of  Dun- 
vegan  a  fairy  banner.  It  has  already  been  in  two  battles,  and 
each  time  was  borne  to  victory.  When  it  is  next  carried  to  the 
field  of  combat,  Macleod  will  be  carried  away  to  fairyland,  never- 
more to  revisit  Dunvegan  with  its  scenes  of  song  and  story. 

The  guardian  fairy  appears  most  frequently  in  Irish  legend, 
and  the  minuteness  of  detail  regarding  time,  place,  and  circum- 
stance, leaves  no  doubt  as  to  the  Irish  Celts  being  animal 
worshippers.  Myth  is  never  so  graphic  as  when  it  weaves  actual 
facts  into  its  narrative  ;  and  the  creditable  way  in  which  Irish 
domestic  animals  acquit  themselves,  reminds  one  of  the  Hottentot 
wolf  which  appeared  at  places  a  hundred  miles  apart  in  a  single 
night.  For  example,  a  talented  Irish  bard  satirised  mice  that 
troubled  him,  and  at  the  same  time  lampooned  domestic  cats  for 
allowing  such  vermin  to  put  their  noses  into  an  egg  he  was 
eating.  He  was  at  Cruachan,  in  Connaught,  at  the  time.  The 
King  of  the  Cats  was  at  Knowth  on  the  Boyne.  No  sooner  did 
the  senachan  finish  his  rhymes  than  his  feline  majesty  took  the 
road  under  a  vow  to  eat  nothing  till  he  had  chastised  the  poet. 
Arrived  at  Cruachan,  he  seized  the  offender,  carried  him  off,  and 
swept  across  the  Shannon  with  him,  and  would  doubtless  have 
borne  him  to  Knowth,  to  be  solemnly  tried  by  a  jury  of  cats,  but 
St  Kiaran,  who  was  working  a  bar  of  hot  iron,  seeing  a  baptised 
person  being  carried  away,  shot  the  bolt  at  the  abductor.  It 
pierced  the  cat's  body  just  one  inch  behind  the  man.  He  was 
saved,  and  the  saint's  labour  rewarded.  In  this  narrative  the 
resolve  to  eat  nothing,  the  timely  appearance  of  the  saint,  and 
the  fell  design  of  the  cat  being  frustrated  because  the  p)et  was 
baptised,  reminds  us  too  forcibly  of  that  band  of  Jewish 
enthusiasts  who  vowed  neither  to  eat  nor  drink  till  they  had 
killed  Paul.  The  ancient  belief  in  the  supernatural  powers  of 
animals  is  used  as  a  foil  to  the  saint's  intuitive  knowledge 
regarding  baptised  persons,  and  his  power  against  all  malign 
influences,  the  virtue  of  iron  as  a  talisman  being  brought  in  as 
an  incidental  circumstance. 


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Fauns  and  Fairies.  *         277 

Nor  is  this  the  only  manner  in  which  the  priest  appears  in 
those  fairy  legends.  The  minister  of  Aberfoil  did  not  record  the 
method  of  recovering  the  stolen,  but  his  Irish  confrere  gives  us 
a  means  of  knowing  whether  we  have  changelings  in  our  cradles. 
One  of  these  elfin  imps  was  found  to  be  always  fretful  and  wailing. 
It  ate  what  was  given  it,  but  never  seemed  to  be  satisfied  or 
thrive.  Doubts  having  arisen  as  to  its  being  a  fairy,  it  was 
arranged  to  have  it  baptised,  and  for  that  purpose  it  was,  on  the 
way  to  the  priest's  residence,  carried  across  a  stream.  When 
crossing,  the  imp  wriggled  out  of  its  wrappings,  freed  itself  from 
the  nurse's  arms,  and  plunged  into  the  water  with  a  • "  Ha !  ha ! 
ha  ! "  of  derisive  laughter. 

Reference  has  been  made  to  the  more  sportive  tendencies  of 
English  fairies  as  compared  to  the  Scotch.  The  Irish  have  their 
own  peculiar  characteristics,  and  of  these  one  is  a  strong  tendency 
to  faction  fights.  The  man  who  at  Ballinasloe  fair  asked  the  time 
of  day,  and  then  said,  "  Eleven  o'clock,  be  jabers,  and  the  divil  a 
foight  yet ! "  was  no  keener  for  a  riot  than  are  some  of  these 
sylvan  pigmies.  Their  hostile  meetings  were  near  streams,  and 
a  rushing  noise  as  of  wing-flapping  was  heard  by  seers  on  either 
side.  This  rushing  noise  moved  and  swayed  from  side  to  side, 
as  do  men  when  settling  a  disputed  matter  at  a  fair.  As  the 
noise  went  to  this  side  or  that,  faint  silvery  bugling  was  heard  as 
if  to  rally  the  combatants.  The  notes  were  strange  and  weird, 
differing  from  all  human  music,  and  impossible  to  reproduce  on 
any  known  instrument.  Their  light  bodies  were  heard  falling 
into  the  water  with  a  noise  resembling  that  made  by  an  angler's 
fly  when  fishing.  After  such  falling  noises  shouts  of  victory 
could  be  heard  filling  the  air,  not  as  our  harsh  notes  make  the 
hills  reverberate,  but  as  a  kind  of  low,  wafting  souud,  as  if  the 
air  itself  moved  and  became  audible,  and  so  fell  upon  the  senses 
like  an  enclosing  medium. 

A  prominent  feature  of  Irish  fairy  lore  is  the  Ban-Shi,  or 
Guardian  Spirit.  She  appeared  to  persons  of  pure  Milesian  origin, 
in  whose  veins  there  was  not  a  trace  of  Norman  blood,  and 
announced  to  them  certain  future  events.  When  an  approaching 
death  was  to  be  made  known,  she  appeared  in  mourning,  and 
evinced  all  the  outward  signs  of  bereavement  and  sorrow.  Closely 
allied  to  this  guardian  spirit  is  the  fairy  love.  Respectable 
Presbyterians  have  had  their  fairy  loves,  to  the  no  small  scandal 
of  their  wives.  The  case  of  Fion's  daughter  is  well  known.  She, 
according  to  high  courtly  etiquette,  was,  on  being  betrothed,  given 
in  charge  to  a  trusted  guardian — this  is  a  common  custom  among 


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278  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

Africans  at  this  day,  and  to  the  guardian  the  bridegroom  is 
responsible.  The  guardian  consigns  her  to  the  care  of  another 
for  added  security,  and  he  to  the  bridegroom.  The  bridegroom 
had  a  fairy  love.  She  bullied  and  upbraided  him  ;  told  him  false 
stories  about  the  bride,  but  all  to  no  purpose,  for  he  loved  the 
King's  daughter.  The  fairy  then  turned  her  itito  a  hound,  and  a 
hound  she  remained.  The  husband  stormed  and  raged  ;  the  wife 
whined  piteously,  but  all  to  no  purpose.  The  fairy  was  obdurate 
till  the  husband  came  under  a  dreadful  vow  to  renounce  his  wife 
for  ever.  Then  she  was  restored  to  womauhood,  while  the  hus- 
band vanished  into  elf-land,  and  still  holds  courtly  revel  when  the 
moon  is  at  the  full. 

These  general  statements  and  examples,  which  might  be 
indefinitely  multiplied,  illustrate  with  tolerable  accuracy  the  fairy 
belief  as  it  has  come  down  to  us  in  our  own  land.  The  whole  field 
of  fairy  cult  is  too  wide  to  be  touched  upon  in  a  brief  paper,  and  that 
just  because  we  find  similar  traditions  among  peoples  differing 
from  each  other  in  race,  language,  religion,  institutions,  customs, 
habits,  and  usages.  And  the  question  forces  itself  upon  us, 
"Whence  these  legends  so  universal  and  persistent?  Have  they  a 
common  origin,  and  if  so,  can  we  trace  it  back  to  a  once  universal 
cult?  or  is  it  simply  the  result  of  a  peculiar  tendency  of  the 
human  mind?  Do  legends,  as  we  possess  them,  represent  the 
faded  memory  of  a  lost  race,  or  are  they  the  dying  nickers  of  a 
world  religion  ?  And  do  the  variations  in  details  simply  point  to 
modifications  and  adaptations,  or  do  they  mark  radical  differences  ? 
Are  the  traditions  and  accretions  of  Brahminism,  Buddhism, 
Mohametanism,  and  Christianity,  as  these  are  modified  by  race,, 
locality,  and  social  institutions,  part  of  this  once  common  cult  ? 

These  questions  have  been  variously  answered,  and  men  have 
not  even  now  arrived  at  a  universally  accepted  solution.  Only  as. 
the  sciences  of  antiquarian  research,  ethnology,  and  anthropology 
eliminate  the  modern  from  the  ancient  and  pre-historic,  can  we 
hope  to  attain  to  definite  results.  If  we  look  only  at  the  fairies 
of  our  own  land  and  their  German  cousins,  we  find  Mr  Macritchie 
and  others  arguing  them  into  a  race  of  dwarf  inhabitants,  whose 
memory  has  been  obliterated  by  time,  as  they  themselves  were 
exterminated  by  the  conquerors,  and  that  they  made  their  last 
retreat  in  underground  dwellings,  which  still  exist  to  prove  beyond 
dispute  the  soundness  of  this  conclusion.  In  order  to  identify  the 
semi-mythical  Fions  with  the  fairies,  he  is  driven  to  the  necessity 
of  converting  the  former  into  a  race  of  dwarfs,  and  that  on  the  sole 
ground  that  the  exploits  of  certain  dwarfs  of  that  famous  race  are 


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Fauns  and  Fairies.  279 

preserved  by  tradition.  He  reminds  us  too  that  the  knight- 
errants  of  old  had  each  a  dwarf  attendant,  a  statement  fatal  to  the 
theory  of  a  war  of  exterminatipn  on  the  part  of  the  conquerors. 
Sons  of  fairywomen  take  service  with  the  Fions,  a  somewhat 
unnecessary  illustration  if  the  Fions  were  themselves  the  fairies ! 

A  bishop  of  Orkney  appears  to  support  the  extermination 
theory,  and  gives  names  and  places.  One  Haarfayr,  a  ninth 
century  worthy,  obliterates  all  trace  of  a  whole  people,  and  we  are 
invited  to  believe  that  since  then  all  memory  of  them  has  perished, 
and  that  we  find  neither  waif  nor  stray  to  give  evidence  of  their 
existence  except  the  people  clad  in  green.  To  the  worthy  church- 
man the  Peti  were  an  exceedingly  small  people.  They  worked 
with  incredible  energy  at  city  building  during  the  morning  and 
evening,  but  were  in  daylight  devoid  of  all  strength  and  energy, 
and  retired  to  their  underground  dwellings  during  the  day.  One 
asks  with  amazement  why  these  dwarfs  should  work  with  incredible 
energy  at  city  building  if  their  homes  were  underground  burrows  ? 
and  whether  the  zeal  for  building  was  inspired  by  the  church  1 
The  bishop,  it  is  clear,  does  not  advance  our  knowledge.  Indeed, 
all  ancient  history  lies  under  the  suspicion  of  adaptation,  and  the 
sins  of  ecclesiastical  history  are  more  aggravated  than  those  of 
secular  narrative. 

But  any  facts  are  useful  to  support  a  theory,  and  the  realists, 
or  euhemerists,  as  they  like  to  be  styled,  find,  in  the  loss  of 
strength  during  the  day  and  alleged  defective  vision  in  sunlight 
by  the  good  bishop's  dwarfs,  a  sound  reason  for  the  identification 
of  Fions  and  fairies.  There  is  another  line  of  argument — that 
based  on  root  words  and  vocables.  The  name  for  an  underground 
dwelling,  in  a  language  which  could  not  be  that  of  the  original 
inhabitants,  but  that  of  the  conquerors,  affords  strong  presumption 
that  they  lived  underground  ;  that  they  were  dirty  in  their 
habits ;  that  their  dens  reeked  of  filth  ;  and  that  they  themselves 
were  but  a  modified  kind  of  skunk  as  they  emerged  into  the 
light  of  day,  so  evilly  did  they  smell. 

It  does  not  fall  within  the  scope  of  this  paper  to  take 
account  of  underground  human  dwellings.  War  and  con- 
quest, possibly  partial  extermination,  may  have  given  colour 
to  many  fairy  legends.  It  may  be  pointed  out  that 
certain  south-east  African  tribes  live  habitually  underground  in 
earth  excavations.  These  are  not  their  only  dwellings,  and  are 
used  for  security  or  concealment,  or  both.  The  slight  basket  hut, 
with  its  straw  roof,  is  a  poor  citadel  to  defend.  It  is  easily  fired 
by  an  enemy,  and  then  the  inmates  can  be  speared  at  leisure  as 


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2SQ  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

they  emerge  from  the  burning  dwelling.  The  underground 
burrow  cannot  be  so  easily  destroyed,  even  if  it  is  discovered,  no 
easy  matter  as  a  rule,  and  this  is  especially  the  case  at  night. 
So  the  native  in  time  of  piofound  peace  occupies  the  more  airy 
and  healthy  hut.  In  times  of  war  or  danger  he  lives  in  his  hut 
by  day,  but  retires  to  his  underground  chamber  at  night.  And 
any  one  seeing  and  entering  a  sentry  cell  in  Angoui  land  ceases 
to  wonder  at  the  small  size  of  many  similar  chambers  found  in 
underground  dwellings  in  Scotland.  A  man  crouching  with,  his 
chin  between  his  knees  does  not  need  a  high  vaulted  roof.  Our 
own  earth  houses,  doubtless,  served  a  similar  purpose  in  the  wild 
and  lawless  days  of  old,  when  clan  feuds  were  rife  and  fire  the 
most  effectual  weapon  in  rooting  out  a  troublesome  sept.  The 
ordinary  houses  were  wattle  ;  the  strongholds  burrows.  That 
fire  was  a  ready  means  of  warfare  within  historic  times  we  know, 
and  the  name  of  at  least  onu  Highland  parish  is  evidence  of  the 
fact. 

The  fairy  cult  is  world-wide,  and  to  account  for  it  we  must 
travel  farther  afield  than  Highland  Brochs,  Fion  Kings,  and 
Gaelic  particles,  and  go  back  to  a  time  when  man  looked  upon 
nature  as  the  true  divinity,  and  worshipped  her  in  the  person  of 
his  chief,  and  then  in  sylvan  deities  who  for  him  were  the  per- 
sonification of  the  powers  of  nature.  To  gain  a  clear  understanding 
of  such  worship  our  appeal  must  not  be  to  Highland  fairies,  their 
English  cousins  and  German  kinsfolk,  where  primitive  beliefs  have 
been  compelled  into  the  service  of  the  varying  phases  of  the 
historical  religions  professed  from  century  to  century,  and  made 
and  re-made  to  suit  the  predominant  bias.  Our  appeal  must  be, 
in  the  first  instance,  to  people  who  have  remained  practically 
'unchanged  through  millenniums,  and  who  to-day  perform  the 
same  acts  of  worship,  and  revere  the  same  deities  which  inspired 
the  world  with  awe  in  days  when  the  remote  ancestors  of  the 
Chaldean  astrologers  gazed  upon  the  stars  and  read  the  fate  of 
nations  and  individuals  indifferently,  as  written  in  the  heavens,  or 
in  the  spots  found  on  the  entrails  of  a  decapitated  cock. 

Among  such  peoples  we  do  not  expect  to  find  a  fairy  tradition, 
for  the  fairies  themselves  are  there.  Our  popular  tales  are  being 
daily  enacted.  Spirits  live  and  move  and  regulate  the  course  of 
nature.  They  are  beneficent  or  revengeful ;  sportive  or  cruel,  as 
they  are  treated.  They  know  pride,  anger,  jealousy,  and  revenge. 
They  demand  victims  and  abduct  persons.  They  take  an  active 
interest  in  the  affairs  of  men,  and  insinuate  themselves  into  the 
most  profound  secrets.     They  feast  on  the  essence  of  food,  eapeci- 


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Fauns  and  Fairies.  281 

ally  that  offered  in  sacrifice.  Their  bodies  are  aerial  and  impalpable, 
and  they  have  been  known  to  raise  the  dead.  These  they  carry 
away  to  spirit  land  with  their  ghost  bodies ;  and  some  of  them  have 
been  seen  after  the  manner  of  the  minister  of  Aberfoil,  who 
appeared  once,  after  he  went  to  his  own  herd. 

Let  us  now  illustrate  these  general  statements.  The  priest  of 
primitive  man  was  lord  of  the  world  at  will,  and  regulated  the  powers 
of  nature  for  the  benefit  of  his  people.  He  was  spoken  of  as  king, 
and  his  sphere  of  action  as  a  kingdom,  and,  so  far  as  we  know,  all 
early  kings  performed  priestly  functions.  With  the  growth  of 
thought,  the  offices  were  separated,  and  the  priesthood  remained 
the  sacred  order  who  had  *to  do  with  all  supernatural  phenomena. 
"*  The  divine  right  of  kings  appeared  at  a  later  period  of  the  world's 
history,  and  after  men  had  ceased  to  fear  the  supernatural  power 
of  the  priest.  The  savage  man  of  to-day,  like  his  savage  fore- 
father, Joes  not  distinguish  accurately  between  the  natural  and 
supernatural.  To  him  the  whole  world  is  regulated  by  super- 
natural agents,  that  is,  by  persons  who  act  on  impulses  like  his 
own  ;  and  these  agents  can  be  influenced  by  appeals  made  to  them. 
This  speedily  leads  to  the  idea  of  a  man  god,  and  passes  in  process 
of  time  into  ancestor  worship.  These  stages  of  progress  we 
can  trace  among  existing  races.  Sacred  men  worshipped  here, 
retire  unto  the  unknown  by  natural  death  or  violence — more 
frequently  the  latter — when  the  spirit  of  the  departed  king  is 
supposed  to  enter  his  successor,  and  still  continue  to  take  an 
interest  in  human  affairs.  A  weak  king  professes  to  have  seen 
his  predecessor  and  received  oracles  from  him,  and  the  spot 
becomes  a  shrine.  At  these  sacred  places  spirits  reveal  the  future 
to  seers,  and  popular  imagination  makes  the  shrine  the  home  of 
the  ancestors  ;  a  kind  of  dwelling  place  for  deity.  The  deities  of 
primitive  man,  in  other  words  the  priests,  could  control  nature  at 
will,  and  this  power  every  savage  man  has  less  or  more.  A  Fiji 
Islander,  who  fears  to  be  belated,  ties  the  tops  of  a  handful  of 
reeds  together,  and  this  delays  the  going  down  of  the  sun.  An 
Indian  of  Yucatan  pulls  out  a  few  of  his  eyelashes,  and  throws 
them  sunward  for  a  like  purpose.  By  placing  a  handful  of  grass 
on  the  path  and  a  stone  over  it,  the  African  both  retards  the 
sunset  and  causes  his  friends  at  home  to  keep  the  evening  meal 
waiting  his  arrival.  Conversely  the  setting  of  the  sun  can  be 
hastened  when  that  is  desired,  as  in  a  doubtful  engagement.  By 
similar  processes  wind  and  rain,  heat  and  cold,  can  be  controlled, 
all  of  which  goes  to  show  that,  savage  man  fails  to  recognise  those 
limitations  to  his  own  powers  which  are  so  obvious  to  us.     But 


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282  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

with  the  advance  of  thought,  and  the  evolution  of  a  sacred  caste, 
we  find  methods  of  attaining  to  inspiration  and  power  which  bring 
us  nearer  our  friends  the  fairies.  In  the  temple  of  Apollo  at 
Argos,  a  lamb  was  slain  once  a  month.  The  prophetess  tasted 
the  blood,  and  then  divined,  being  god-inspired.  In  Achaia  the 
earth  priestess  drank  from  the  blood  of  a  bull,  just  slain,  before 
descending  into  the  cave  of  prophecy.  In  Southern  India  the 
devil  dancer  drinks  the  blood  of  a  slain  goat,  putting  his  mouth  to 
its  throat,  and  is  then  inspired.  He  snorts,  he  stares,  he  dances 
and  gyrates.  The  demon  takes  complete  possession  of  him,  and 
he  is  then  worshipped  as  a  present  deity.  All  this  brings  us 
nearer  to  Kirk's  account  of  fairy  food  as  being  the  essence  or  life-  m 
giving  properties  of  our  common  fare. 

Nor  is  this  nil.  In  the  religious  history  of  the  Aryan  races 
tree  worship  was  one  of  the  most  potent  factors  of  national  and 
domestic  life,  and  (Jrimm  supposes  the  forest  glades  were  the  first 
sanctuaries  of  the  human  race.  This  we  can  easily  understand  ; 
for  even  at  the  dawn  of  our  own  era  the  larger  portion  of  Europe 
consistel  of  dense  forests,  and  what  clearings  were  made  must 
have  appeared  as  islets  intau  ocean  of  green.  Need  we  wonder  that 
fairy  folk  ever  dress  in  the  universal  nature  colour.  The  Lithuan- 
ians, who  were  not  converted  to  Christianity  till  the  fourteenth 
century,  were  at  that  date  tree  worshippers,  and  begged  St 
Jerome  not  to  cut  down  their  sacred  groves.  A  form  of  worship 
so  common  and  so  widespread  must  have  had  some  basis  <•  n  which 
it  rested — a  philosophy  such  as  satisfied  the  instincts  of  millions,  and 
that  philosophy  came  down  from  savage  man.  To  him  all  nature 
is  animate.  The  spirit  of  reproduction  dwells  in  trees,  in  corn,  and 
grass.  Spirits  of  men  do  not  difter  essentially  from  these,  for  here, 
too,  reproduction  is  the  great  factor  of  existence,  and  as  the  spirit 
of  the  decayed  vegetation  lives  through  the  winter  and  re-animates 
the  world  in  spring,  so  human  spirits  retire  to  the  unknown 
depths  of  the  forest,  but  not  to  perish.  They  live  and  re-appear. 
Siamese  monks  believe  trees  have  souls,  and  that  to  lop  off  a 
branch  is  equivalent  to  severing  a  nuin's  hand  from  his  body. 
These  monks  are,  of  course,  Buddhists ;  but  the  Animism  of 
Buddhism  is  not  a  philosophic  theory  evolved  by  itself.  It  is 
simply  a  common  savage  dogma  incorporated  into  the  system  of 
an  historical  religion.  Buddhism  simply  borrowed  it  from  pagan 
savagery.  And  pagan  savagery  treats  a  clove  tree  in  blossom  as 
it  does  a  pregnant  woman.  No  noise  must  be  made  near  it,  and 
no  light  carried  past  it ;  whoever  approaches  it  must  uncover  his 
head.    In  the  Philippine  Islands  the  souls  of  the  ancestors  inhabit 


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Fauns  and  Fairies.  282 

well-known  trees.  In  Kabongo  the  reigning  monarch  has  a  safe 
keeping  place  for  his  soul  in  a  grove.  In  Assam,  when  a  child  is 
lost,  it  has  been  stolen  by  the  spirits  of  the  wood.  In  Sumatra,, 
when  a  native  fells  a  tree  he  plants  a  young  one  in  its  place,  and 
hangs  some  betal  root  upon  it.  This  is  the  new  home  offered  to 
the  spirit  that  dwelt  in  the  tree  that  has  been  cut  down,  and  who 
otherwise  might  bo  homeless. 

In  these  beliefs  and  customs  the  tree  itself  is  animate 
under  the  earlier  forms  of  religious  thought.  Then  an  important 
advance  is  made,  and  the  tree  becomes  the  abode  of  a  spirit, 
which  can  leave  it  and  take  up  its  home  elsewhere.  These  spirits 
dwelling  in  trees  gradually  resolve  themselves  into  departed  souls, 
giving  us  the  material  on  which  the  whole  system  of  ancestor 
worship  is  founded.  It  explains  why  the  old  Prussians  believed 
gods  inhabited  high  oak  trees,  and  why  the  Lithuanians  begged  St 
Jerome  not  to  cut  down  their  sacred  groves,  as  from  the  spirits 
dwelling  there  they  had  obtained  sunshine  and  rain,  summer  heat 
and  winter  snows.  It  throws  light  on  the  well  known  dogma  that 
tree  spirits  make  horses  multiply  and  bless  women  with  off- 
spring. 

At  Gilgit  there  is  an  annual  custom  at  wheat-sowing,  of  which 
the  following  are  the  essential  facts  : — Branches  of  the  sacred 
cedar  are  brought  from  the  mountain  forest.  After  various 
ceremonies  each  villager  goes  home  with  a  few  sprigs  of  the  cedar, 
but  to  find  the  door  of  his  house  shut  in  his  face.  The  wife  asks 
from  within,  "  What  do  you  bring,"  to  which  he  replies,  "  Children 
if  you  wish  them ;  food  if  you  require  it ;  cattle  ;  whatever  you 
want ;"  she  then  opens  the  door  and  says,  "  Sou  of  the  fairies,  you 
have  come  from  far,"  and  sprinkles  him  all  over  with  flour. 
Among  civilized  peoples  tree  festivals  are  continued  in  May-day 
and  midsummer  customs.  Men's  opinions  change  ;  their  philosophy 
developes ;  religious  revolutions  come  suddenly  or  slowly ;  but 
customs  and  ceremonial  acts  remain,  and  the  old  order  weaves 
itself  into  myth  and  legend,  and  myth  is  always  mo3t  graphic 
when  it  describes  what  actually  took  place  and  colours  it  in  the 
imaginations  of  many  centuries. 

Our  brief  survey  of  tree  spirits  leads  us  to  this  : — The  tree 
spirit  passes  into  a  person.  This  person  is  king  of  the  wood  ; 
under  his  influence  vegetation  revives,  rain  falls,  domestic  animals 
increase,  and  people  multiply.  Festivals  are  held  in  honour  of 
this  sylvan  deity,  who  presently  emerges  into  the  doctrine  of  souls 
and  ancestral  worship.  Man  at  this  stage  has  travelled  a  long 
way  on  that  upward  ladder  of  progress  which  the  race  has  followed 
from  its  cradle. 


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284  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

The  soul  of  primitive  man  wns  exposed  to  various  forms  of 
danger,  and  against  these  precautions  were  taken.  A  safe  keeping- 
place  for  his  soul  was  an  essential  to  a  ruler.  The  soul  was  an 
exact  reproduction  of  the  body  in  miniature.  It  was  invisible 
except  to  seers.  During  sleep  or  a  swoon  it  was  absent  from  the 
body,  and  its  return  might  be  prevented  by  an  enemy  who  was  a 
magician,  or  through  the  person  being  removed  from  the  place 
where  the  soul  left  him.  Then  if  a  man  saw  his  own  reflection  in 
a  dark  pool  or  reflecting  surface  his  soul  might  be  snatched  away 
and  lost ;  so  men,  kings  more  particularly,  were  surrounded  with 
taboos  to  secure  their  safety.  Nor  did  this  always  suffice,  for 
many  rulers  selected  secure  keeping-places  for  their  souls  at  a 
distance  from  their  residence,  as  a  sacred  grove,  a  spring,  or  an 
inaccessible  pinnacle  of  rock.  These  places  the  imagination 
peoples  with  spirits,  the  souls  of  the  living  and  the  dead,  for  what 
more  natural  when  a  man  died  than  that  his  soul  should  continue 
to  reside  where  he  had  placed  it.  It  knew  the  locality,  and  took 
an  interest  in  it  while  its  owner  lived.  And  if  it  remained  there 
it-  interest  would  continue  unabated,  and  would  influence  the 
course  of  events  as  when  the  king  lived.  It  entered  his  successor 
it  is  true,  but  duality  of  existence  presents  no  difficulties  to  savage 
philosophy.  But  there  were  frequently  rival  chieftains,  and  so  a 
rivalry  among  souls  would  naturally  follow,  and  this  suggests  two 
things— First,  the  frequent  trials  of  strength  among  the  gods  of 
mythology,  and  the  doctrine  of  beneficent  and  evil  spirits.  To 
follow  this  further  is  foreign  to  our  present  purpose. 

While  the  country  was  largely  forest-clad,  woodland  deities 
ruled  supreme,  and  could  hardly  be  said  to  divide  their  power  with 
water  spirits,  which  figure  in  all  mythologies.  As  clearings 
increase  J  and  forest  fires  laid  bare  large  tracts  of  country,  or  as 
men  wandered  north wTards  to  regions  of  ice  and  snow,  the  altered 
conditions  necessitated  a  re-adjustment  of  sacred  places  and  the 
homes  of  divinity.  Where  a  sylvan  shrine  existed  before  a  great 
fire  the  spot  would  remain  sacred,  or  the  gods  would  betake  them- 
selves to  the  shelter  of  an  over-hanging  cliff.  Tradition  peoples 
such  spots  with  the  self-same  divinities  who  dwelt  in  the  forest 
glades  when  youths  and  maidens  worshipped  dancing  in  the  glint- 
ing moonlight. 

Nor  is  this  mere  conjecture,  for  we  only  need  a  haunted  room 
in  some  baronial  hall  to  make  it  in  after  ages  the  scene  of  midnight 
revel  and  the  home  of  ghosts,  whose  pale  outlines  are  seen  by  the 
fearful  as  a  fitful  light  shows  athwart  the  open  casements  when 
winter  winds  are  high.      The  mountain  slopes  and  low-lying  fens, 


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Fauns  and  Fairies.  285 

once  covered  with  forests  and  resonant  with  the  songs  of  birds,  now 
bare  and  lifeless,  presented  to  the  cowering  savage  a  picture  of 
awful  desolation,  and  he  peopled  them  with  those  spirits  which  his 
imagination  pictured  as  solitary  and  evil,  while  the  good  clung  to 
any  remaining  clusters  of  trees  or  raised  green  mounds. 

Next  comes  the  rude  hand  and  new  religion  of  the  conqueror 
to  shatter  all  that  remained  of  the  ancient  faith.  It  perishes, 
vanishing  as  if  it  had  never  been,  and  the  new  takes  its  place  and 
retains  it.  But  the  memory  of  the  old  remains,  and  men  look  back 
in  a  kindly  way  to  the  past,  and  children  hear  with  awestruck 
wonder  stories  of  the  ancient  days  when  spirits  walked  at  noonday. 
They  learn  to  reverence  the  spots  where  they  dwelt,  and  in  their 
play  rehearse  the  doings  of  the  gods.  And  then  some  one  hears 
in  the  green  mound  where  the  ancestors  hide,  the  strains  of  a 
forgotten  music,  and  before  his  fevered  vision  ghostly  figures  glint 
in  the  moonlight,  and  he  dreams  dreams  of  a  vanished  glory.  As  he 
recounts  his  vision,  his  enthusiasm  kindles,  his  narrative  becomes 
real,  and  the  youth  who  hear  know  he  has  been  to  fairyland. 
He  saw  the  mighty  de,ad ;  he  heard  music  sung  by  immortals  ;  he 
is  inspired  :  a  seer  for  evermore. 

By  such  processes  does  tradition  weave  together  the  imaginary 
and  the  real,  blending  them  into  a  golden  web  of  the  past  and  a 
mysterious  present,  till  with  rude  hand  the  fabric  is  thrown  down, 
and  men  make  a  new  advance  in  thought.  They  do  not  forget  the 
past;  they  adapt  it,  and  the  adaptation  is  determined  by  the  new  cult. 
Buddhism  seizes  on  it,  and  claims  it  as  its  own.  Christianity  bans 
it  as  of  the  devil,  indulgently  at  first,  then  with  stern  visage  and 
legal  sanctions.  The  dreams  of  the  past  are  banished  into  hidden 
corners,  and  men,  women  especially,  fear  the  thumbscrew  and  the 
faggot,  if  it  should  be  suspected  that  they  hold  converse  with  this 
forbidden  world  and  eat  its  baneful  fruit.  If  men  do  recount  the 
deeds  of  the  past,  and  the  frolics  of  spirits  in  the  green  woods,  they 
are  careful  to  weave  a  kind  of  latter-day  moral  into  the  tale. 

As  the  memory  of  sylvan  deities  and  guardian  ancestois  wanes 
and  waxes  dim  while  tradition  persists,  men  imagine  that  the 
tradition  is  but  the  distorted  history  of  a  race  of  men  who  lived, 
and  felt,  and  suffered,  and  vanished.  Races  of  men  are  created 
and  then  exterminated,  leaving  a  few  solitary  wanderers,  the  sole 
witnesses  of  a  vanished  world.  A  burrow  is  made  and  a  human 
dwelling  found.  It  was  the  home  of  a  chief  of  the  vanished  race. 
A  name  of  doubtful  derivation  is  met  with.  It  is  a  word  preserved 
from  a  lost  language.  The  man  who  dwelt  in  that  house  was  a 
fairy — the  lost  language  his  speech ;  and  so  our  sylvan  denizens 


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*286  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. , 

become  mere  eaters  of  flesh  and  abductors  of  children  to  avenge 
political  wrongs. 

It  has  already  been  said  that  our  familiar  fairy  cult  is  a 
complex  thing.  It  is  composed  of  materials  supplied  by  tradition, 
and  has  no  doubt  drawn  from  stories  of  battle,  murder,  and 
revenge  ;  and  here  prehistoric  materials  are  to  be  met  with.  But 
on  the  other  hand  it  contains  a  vast  mass  of  legend  regarding  the 
older  religious  beliefs  and  unexplained  phenomena.  Man  as  he 
advanced  left  behind  him  at  each  stage  a  whole  world  of  unex- 
plained facts.  He  progressed  along  certain  lines,  and  left  collateral 
branches  of  knowledge  to  be  the  sport  of  tradition.  This  entered 
into  popular  folk-lore,  and  became  in  a  measure  the  common 
heritage  of  all  nations.  We  have  also  to  take  account  of  sudden 
noises,  rappings,  musical  sounds,  movement  of  objects  without 
apparent  cause,  and  that  curious  group  of  experiences  we  may  class 
under  second  sight,  as  well  as  prolonged  trance  or  suspended 
animation.  All  these  and  many  other  factors  enter  into  our 
familar  legends,  and  give  to  the  fairies  a  local  colour  and  historic 
setting.  That  many  unexplained  facts  exist,  we,  most  of  us,  have 
had  experience,  and  though  science  may  be  moving  in  the  direction 
of  a  more  rational  explanation  than  hitherto,  nothing  very  satis- 
factory has  yet  appeared.  The  noises  heard  in  Wesley's  house  at 
Epworth  are  as  well  authenticated  as  any  fact  can  be,  and  yet  no 
better  than  many  similar  phenomena  elsewhere.  Our  modern 
telepathy  may  do  something  to  explain  the  facts,  or  it  may  find 
itself  worsted  as  the  Wesley s  did  in  their  attempts  to  set  the 
spirits  to  do  some  useful  work. 

We  now  return  to  the  fairies  and  their  habits  as  these  are 
described  by  Kirk  and  Martin.  The  former  Went  to  his  own  herd 
in  1692  ;  the  latter  wrote  about  1695,  so  that  their  evidence  is 
contemporary.  Both  men  were  close  observers,  and  each  in  his 
own  way  had  rare  glimpses  of  science.  To  them  fairy  bodies  are 
congealed  air,  impalpable  and  invisible  except  to  seers.  They  know 
nothing  of  their  having  any  built  dwellings.  Their  habitations 
are  fairy  hills,  nothing  more.  They  are  diminutive  and  have  the 
human  form  reproduced  in  their  miniature  bodies.  To  the  savage 
in  Africa,  India,  the  South  Seas,  America,  and  Tartary  the  soul  is 
a  reproduction  of  the  body.  It  is  in  miniature,  but  is  fat  or  lean, 
long  or  short  as  the  man  is.  It  is  aerial  and  impalpable  ;  it  is 
invisible  except  to  the  magician  ;  it  is  capable  of  living  apart  from 
the  body  and  going  long  journeys  in  an  incredible  short  space  of 
time ;  it  may  breakfast  in  Senegal  and  dine  in  America ;  it  feed8 
on  the  essence  of  our  grosser  fare  and  impoverishes  what  it  eats  of. 


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Fauns  and  Fairies.  287 

Id  fairy  stories  men  are  often  placed  under  spells  and  lose 
sense  and  reason  till  restored  with  infinite  labour  by  a  seer.  So 
;ire  men  whose  souls  are  stolen  and  detained  in  savage  lands. 
When  a  funtral  passes  through  a  village  the  Karens  of  Burmah 
tie  their  children  to  an  article  of  furniture  with  a  special  kind  of 
string  lest  their  souls  should  be  drawn  away  with  the  dead.  And 
at  the  grave  those  who  bring  the  body  provide  themselves  with  a 
bamboo  slit  lengthwise,  and  a  small  stick.  When  the  earth  is 
filled  iu  each  man  thrusts  his  bamboo  down  into  the  grave  and 
draws  his  stick  along  the  groove  to  show  his  soul  the  way  out 
should  it  by  any  chance  be  down  with  the  dead. 

The  good  people  of  Aberfoil  heard  a  noise  as  if  men  were 
working  on  anvils,  but  the  Polynesian  ancestral  spirits  can 
remodel  a  whole  village  in  a  single  night,  while  a  Wazerema 
sylvan  deity  can  box  an  offender's  ears  till  he  sees  new  constella- 
tions ;  and  a  Bougo  spirit  can  make  the  forest  resound  again  to 
the  beat  of  drum.  Fairies  change  their  abode  quarterly ;  but 
the  Gaboon  spirits  are  made  to  change,  being  driven  out  by  the 
long-suffering  inhabitants.  They,  too,  can  float  on  air,  and  make 
a  low,  musical  noise,  or  a  crepitating  sound,  should  they  leave  in 
anger.  Fairies  have  their  orders.  African  spirits  have  theirs,  and 
settle  faction-fights  like  any  Irish  pigmies  of  them  all.  But  these 
are  the  usual  trappings  of  ancestral  deities  the  world  over.  Even 
men's  souls,  temporarily  absent  from  their  bodies,  may  meet  and 
fight,  with  much  damage  to  their  owners;  and  stories  are  on 
record  of  Burmese  souls  doing  each  other  grievous  harm.  Nor 
are  such  wandering  souls  absent  at  banquets  and  funerals.  They 
hover  round  the  corpse  to  snatch  away  the  soul  to  join  their  own 
company.  When  seen,  they  may  appear  in  any  guise,  and  seers 
have  difficulty  in  distinguishing  between  the  soul  of  a  living  person 
and  a  disembodied  spirit.  The  minister  of  Aberfoil  does  not 
record  the  method  of  restoring  the  stolen,  but  the  Karens  know 
all  about  the  recapture  of  an  abducted  soul ;  and  a  Samoan  seer 
can  fit  a  man  with  another  soul  should  his  own  be  Jost  or  stolen 
beyond  hope  of  recovery.  In  Hawaii  souls  were  caught  and  shut 
up  in  calabashes ;  and  the  seers  of  Danger  Island  set  soul  traps 
fitted  to  catch  those  of  different  sizes.  Against  these  dangers 
charms  must  be  used,  from  bits  of  reed  to  iron  ;  and  when  these 
fail,  the  lost  may  be  restored  by  means  well  known  to  every 
savage  man. 

The  death  messenger  from  Elf-land,  so  Mr  Kirk  tells  us, 
might  be  appeased  by  the  death  of  an  animal.  A  Pondo  con 
Ueinned  to  die  may,  with  the  consent  of  his  chief,  redeem  his 


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288  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

life  by  the  sacrifice  of  an  ox  and  a  fine  ;  among  other  tribes,  by 
the  substitution  of  a  slave.  Wounds  inflicted  by  elf  arrows  were 
mortal,  and  woe  betide  the  savage  who  is  touched  by  a  weapon 
from  the  spirit  world.  And  the  spirits  of  savage  man  have  their 
local  habitations,  places  where  they  have  lived  time  out  of  mind, 
like  our  own  little  hill  folk. 

In  our  fairy  cult  we  meet  with  facts  not  easily  explained  from 
the  analogy  of  savage  custom.  Men  whose  souls  are  stolen,  and 
wander  in  forests  in  a  kind  of  waking  sleep,  give  a  clue  to  fairy 
spells  ;  but  the  abduction  of  wives  and  children  must  belong  to  a 
later  era,  and  may  be  a  faint  re-echo  of  old  classic  stories,  or  the 
record  of  an  experience  not  at  all  uncommon  in  lawless  lands. 
The  changeling  would  follow  as  a  kind  of  corollary  to  the  abduc- 
tion ;  or  it  is  a  faint  and  fading  memory  of  the  savage  dictum  that 
animals,  as  wolves,  may,  under  the  influence  of  evil  spirits  or 
wicked  magicians,  Hubstitute  their  own  cubs  for  children  they 
devour. 

These  parallel  illustrations,  or  some  of  them,  are  capable  of 
being  pushed  too  far  ;  but  in  regard  to  a  world-wide  cult,  they 
appear  to  aiford  a  more  rational  explanation  than  the  extermina- 
tion of  the  inhabitants  of  whole  continents.  For,  if  the  theory 
holds  good  in  regard  to,  the  "Pechts,"  it  must  be  true  regarding 
aboriginal  races  the  world  over,  whose  very  names  and  memory 
have  perished  utterly.  Yes,  and  their  bones  too,  for  of  fossil  dwarfs 
we  have  none. 

That  the  earliest  objects  of  worship  were  the  chiefs  who  ruled 
and  regulated  nature  for  the  benefit  of  the  tribe  there  seems  no 
reasonable  doubt.  That  this  merged  into  nature-worship,  and 
that  into  adoration  of  ancestral  spirits  we  have  ample  evidence  to 
support  in  the  condition  of  savage  lands  of  to-day.  To  this  rale 
the  nations  of  Europe  were  no  exception.  From  well-known 
facts  the  world  over,  we  are  not  permitted  to  doubt  the  residence 
of  ancestral  spirits  in  particular  localities,  and  by  all  the  rules  of 
reasoning,  in  our  own  country  also.  These  ancestral  spirits  were 
diminutive,  corresponding  to  the  souls  of  living  men.  They 
migrated  from  place  to  place,  and  their  influence  was  felt  in  all 
directions. 

A  savage  is  nothing  if  he  is  not  religious,  and  when,  with  the 
development  of  thought,  higher  religions  claimed  his  homage,  the 
past  remained  as  a  fading  memory.  Imagination  clothed  it  with 
a  halo  of  glory,  and  the  midnight  revels  of  elves  and  fauns  and 
fairies  preserve  to  us  the  more  human  and  social  aspects  of  what 
was  to  primitive  man  a  stern  reality.     Christianity,  first  tolerant, 


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Minor  Highland  Families.  289 

for  whatever  be  the  merits  or  demerits  of  the  Roman  form  of  it, 
it  was  in  the  early  days  wisely  human  and  tolerant  of  the  vanish- 
ing paganism  which  it  displaced,  then  less  tolerant,  and,  finally4 
reformed  and  austere  with  its  rigid  code  of  morals  and  conduct, 
it  obliterated  the  last  traces  of  pagan  pageantry  in  its  own  worship 
and  in  social  life.  It  almost  compelled  fires'de  stories  to 
take  a  kind  of  Hanoverian  hue  to  the  glory  of  the  Prince 
of  Orange.  So  Scotland  bade  farewell,  a  sorrowful  fare- 
well, it  may  be,  to  its  satyrs  and  its  elves;  its  fauns  and  its 
fairies;  its  sunset  wanderers  and  midnight  revellers,  and  left  it 
to  this  and  kindred  societies  to  rescue  from  oblivion  the  last 
remnants  of  a  world  to  which  we  can  hardly  look  back  without 
a  sigh,  and  wish  we  could  feel 

"  As  free  as  nature  first  made  man, 
When  wild  in  woods  the  noble  savage  ran." 


26th  FEBRUARY,  1897. 

At  the  meeting  this  evening,  Dr  James  Macrae,  Newcastle, 
and  Mr  P.  J.  Sinton,  Fort- William,  were  elected  members  of 
the  Society.  Thereafter  the  Assistant-Secretary  read  a  paper 
contributed  by  Charles  Fraser-Mackintosh,  Esq.  of  Drummond, 
entitled  "  The  Robertsons  of  Inshes, '  in  continuation  of  his 
interesting  series  of  papers  to  the  Society  on  "  Minor  Highland 
Families."     The  paper  was  as  follows :  — 

MINOR  HIGHLAND  FAMILIES— No.   10. 
THE  ROBERTSONS  OF  INSHES. 

The  Robertsons  of  Inshes  were  honourably  connected  with 
the  burgh  and  parish  of  Inverness  for  over  four  hundred  years. 
Through  the  kindness  of  the  last  proprietor,  Mr  Arthur  John 
Robertson,  known  as  "  The  Laird"  so  well  in  and  about  Inver- 
ness, I  was  favoured  many  years  ago  with  the  perusal  and 
liberty  of  taking  some  notes  from  the  singularly  well  kept 
papers  of  the  family.  In  their  papers  the  family  took  great 
pride,  and  had  them  looked  over  by  several  antiquarians,  such 
as  the  late  Mr  Alexander  Mackenzie  of  Woodside,  Mr  George 
Anderson,  and  others.  Mr  Arthur  Robertson,  grandfather  oj 
the  late  laird,  was  a  frequent  correspondent  of  the  well-knowi! 

19 


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290  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

collector,  a  century  ago,  General  Hutton,  some  of  whose  papers 
connected  with  Inverness  and  the  North  are  in  the  Advocates' 
Library,  Edinburgh. 

The  first  Robertson  of  whom  there  is  authentic  note  was 

1.  Duncan  Robertson,  a  cadet  of  the  Robertson's  of  Strowan, 
undoubted  head  of  the  Clan  Donnachie,  and  the  Inshes  family 
are  mentioned  as  one  of  his  kindred  clan  by  the  celebrated 
Alexander  Robertson  of  Strowan,  warrior  and  poet,  one  of 
whose  letters  to  Inshes,  dated  "  Hermitage,  20  July  1742,"  will 
be  found  hereafter  quoted. 

From  the  deed  of  1448  after-mentioned,  this  Duncan  would 
presumably  have  been  born  not  later  than  1400. 
The  first  charter  in  existence  is  a  charter  by 

2.  Robert,  Duncan's  son,  burgess  of  Inverness,  to  William 
Michael,  burgess  of  Inverness,  of  his  particate  of  land,  lying 
on  the  east  side  of  Domesdale,  Inverness  (Castle  Street),  in  form 
of  pledge,  dated  Inverness,  20  April,  1448,  the  witnesses  being 
Patrick  Fergusson,  Walter  John's  son,  Richard  Logie,  John 
Thomas,  junior,  Johnr  Gray,  and  John  William.  The  three 
seals  originally  attached  have  disappeared,  but  the  document 
itself  is  in  good  preservation,  and  like  most  ante-Reformation 
writs,  brief,  and  of  beautiful  caligraphy. 

I  gave  Duncan  the  first  as  born  about  1400,  as  his  son 
must  have  been  major  by  1448.  Robert  was  succeeded  by  his 
son, 

3.  John,  father  of  William  and  Laurence.  This  Laurence 
Robertson,  described  as  "Burgess  of  Inverness,"  acquired,  28th 
July,  1517,  a  house  at  the  head  of  Bridge  Street,  south  or  west 
side,  from  Henry  Deval,  Prior  of  the  Order  of  Fratres  Predi- 
mtores,  which,  as  probably  the  only  unthatched  house  in  Inver- 
ness, is  styled  the  "  Sklait  House."  The  seal  of  the  Monastery, 
of  great  rarity,  is  engraved  in  "  Invernessiana." 

4.  William  was  father  of 

5.  John,  a  powerful  man,  whose  designation,  "  Stalwart 
John,"  has  been  handed  down,  by  family  tradition  and  other- 
wise, as  naving  been  standard  bearer  to  Lord  Lovat  At  the 
battle'  of  Biar-na-leine,  1544.  He  was  one  of  the  very  few  who 
survived,  and  having  afterwards  married,  was  succeeded  by  his 
son, 

6.  William  Robertson  "Elder,"  burgess  of  Inverness,  in 
connection   with   whom   there   are   several   burghal   documents 


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Minor  Highland  Families.  291 

extant.  One  is  an  association  by  the  Council  and  community  of 
Inverness,  in  favour  of  William  Robertson  to  build  "  a  timber 
shop  opposite  to  the  Tolbooth."  Mr  James  Robertson  writes 
from  Poland  to  get  a  certificate  of  gentle  birth  from  the 
Provost,  magistrates,  and  clergy  of  Inverness,  "  as  being  second 
son  of  William  Robertson,  some  time  Bailie  and  one  of  the 
Town  Council  of  Inverness,  who  was  son  of  John  Robertson, 
Bailie  and  Councillor  of  Inverness."  That  his  mother  was 
"  Margaret  Paterson,  daughter  of  William  Paterson,  Bailie  of 
Inverness,  and  of  Agnes,  daughter  of  Hugh  Rose  of  Kilravock. 
The  father's  mother  was  daughter  of  Sir  Thomas  Urquhart  of 
Cromarty.  I  observe  a  memorandum  that  William  Robertson 
died  1631,  aged  72,  and  was  therefore  born  in  1559, 

7.  And  that  John  Robertson,  7th,  was  born  when  his 
father  was  25,  or  in  1584. 

It  was  in  time  of  this  John  that  the  Robertsons  established 
themselves  as  landowners  in  the  parish.  John  had  many 
struggles,  becoming  ultimately  victorious  through  the  assistance 
and  counsel  of  his  wife,  Janet  Sinclair.  The  Barony  of  Cul- 
cabock,  including  Knockintinnel,  and  the  littte  Haugh  below, 
next  the  sea,  were  a  great  attraction  in  the  eyes  of  John  and 
his  wife.  Being  the  only  freehold  in  the  neighbourhood,  these 
lands  had  particular  value.  Between  the  Leys,  Culduthel,  and 
Hilton,  on  the  one  side,  and  Culloden  on  the  other,  the  whole 
land,  except  that  small  part  of  the  Castlehill  estate  called  the 
"  Barony  of  Castlehill,"  were  part  of  the  old  forest  of  Draikies, 
granted  to  the  Burgh  of  Inverness,  extending  from  the  Miln 
Burn  to  the  Mount  of  Daviot,  and  comprehending  Inshes,  its 
hill  lands  and  woods,  and  the  lands  of  Bogbain. 

The  superiority  of  Culcabock  was  vested  in  the  Hays  of 
Mayne,  and  in  property  in  that  of  Paterson.  Alexander  Hay 
of  Mayne  is  infeft  in  Culcabock  7th  Nov.,  1498,  and  is  suc- 
ceeded by  William  Hay,  whose  seal  to  a  charter,  dated  8th  July, 
1521,  is  in  fine  preservation.  After  this  William,  the  superi- 
ority drops  out  of  the  Hay  family  until  1618,  when  James  VI. 
.grants  a  charter  to  William  Hay.  Same  year  the  King  grants 
a  charter  to  John  Grant. 

The  first  name  I  have  observed  as  actual  possessor  of  Cul- 
cabock was  Sir  William  Paterson,  rector  of  Boleskine,  found  in 
1500.  No  doubt  he  was  one  of  the  family  of  Paterson,  at  this 
and  for  one  or  two  centuries  later  so  numerous  and  influential 
in  and  about  Inverness.  Sir  Thomas  Paterson,  rector  of 
Assynt,  is  served  heir  to  his  grand-uncle,  Sir  William  Paterson, 


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292  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

in  Culcabock,  Knockintinnel,  etc.,  at  Inverness,  21st  July,  1513. 
The  inquest  included  the  lands  of  Durris,  of  the  value  of  24 
merks,  while  Culcabock  was  valued  at  20  merks,  and  in  time  of 
peace  at  12  merks,  was  held  before  Hugh  Rose  of  Kilravock, 
Sheriff -Depute,  and  the  following  inquest :  — Alexander  Cumyng 
of  Altyre,  Andrew  Kinnaird  of  that  Ilk,  Alexander  Urquhart 
of  Burdsyards,  David  Douglas  of  Pittendreich,  Alexander 
Brodie  of  that  Ilk,  William  Dallas  of  Budgate,  Henry  Dallas 
of  Cantray,  Robert  Steuart  of  Clava,  Andrew  Munro  of  Davoch- 
cartie,  Alexander  Denune  of  Davidston,  William  MacCulloch 
of  Plaids,  Angus  MacCulloch  of  Tarrel,  John  Corbet  of  Easter 
Ard,  Alexander  Nicolson  of  Freirost,  James  Murray  of  Focha- 
bers, John  Cuthbert  of  Auld  Castlehill,  Walter  Rose  of  Kin- 
stearie,  Walter  Douglas  of  Cramond,  James  Tullocb,  de  eode?n> 
George  Dunbar  of  Moy,  and  William  Douglas,  burgess  of 
Elgin. 

A  few  years  later,  Elizabeth  Paterson  is  found  as  owner, 
together  with  her  husband's  name,  Andrew  Jak,  and  on  her 
resignation,  a  charter  is  granted  by  the  superior  to  John  Grant 
of  Glenmoriston,  therein  described  "  of  Elachy,"  in  1520,  one 
of  the  witnesses  being  Gordon  Lesslie,  rector  of  Kingussie. 
This  John  Grant,  son,  as  handed  down  by  tradition,  of  the 
Laird  of  Grant  by  the  Baron  of  Kincardine's  daughter,  is 
obliged  to  obtain  an  apostolic  license  for  the  legitimation  of 
his  own  children  and  the  binding  nature  of  his  marriage  with 
Agnes  Fraser.  The  license  is  granted  by  Marcus,  Patriarch, 
by  authority  of  Pope  Paul,  on  30th  April,  1544,  wherein  John 
Grant  is  described  as  "  Laicus  Moraviensis,"  and  Agnes  simply 
"  Mulier."  Inshes,  as  I  nave  said,  had  his  eye  on  the  property, 
and  in  the  first  place,  lent  money  over  it  to  Glenmoriston.  The 
latter  failing  to  pay,  adjudication  was  taken  out,  and  a  title 
completed.  Further  steps  against  Glenmoriston,  with  the  view 
of  Inshes  entering  into  actual  possession  of  Culcabock,  were 
violently  resisted.  Inshes  nimself  was  captured  by  stratagem 
at  Inverness,  and  carried  off  to  the  West,  his  farms  were  burnt, 
and  his  tenants  and  himself  spuilzied.  Though  some  of  these 
violent  proceedings  occurred  chiefly  in  the  time  of  William,  8th 
of  Inshes,  they  may  be  properly  referred  to  briefly  at  this 
point,  having  begun  in  John  Robertson's  time.  Sir  Hugh 
Campbell  of  Calder  exerted  himself  for  Glenmoriston,  with  the 
view  of  an  adjustment.  The  Bishop  of  Moray  is  prayed  to 
order  a  public  subscription  to  compensate  Inshes'  losses,  and 
finally,  in  1664,  Glenmoriston  had  to  succumb.  Upon  27th 
January,  1664,  the  following  Bond  of  Caution  under  law- 
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Minor  Highland  Families.  293 

burrows  is  given  by  Hugh  Fraser  of  Struy  in  favour  of  Glen- 
moriston :  — 

"  I,  Hugh  Fraser  of  Struy,  by  the  tenor  hereof  Bind  and 
oblige  me  my  heirs  executors  and  successors,  as  cautioner  and 
surety  in  lawburrows,  for  John  Grant  of  Glenmoriston,  That 
Master  William  Robertson  of  Inshes  and  his  men,  tenants, 
their  servants,  wives,  bairns  and  families  shall  be  harmless  and 
skaithless  of  the  said  John  Grant  and  of  his  men,  tenants,  and 
dependers  on  his  lands,  heritages,  taiks,  steadings,  rooms,  pos- 
sessions, corn,  cattle,  guids  and  gear.  And  that  they  nor  none 
of  them  shall  be  anyways  troubled  nor  molested  thereuntil  by 
the  said  uohn  Grant,  nor  that  his  tenants,  servants,  followers, 
or  dependers,  nor  by  any  other  of  his  or  their  causing,  sending, 
hounding  out,  command  receipt  assistance  or  ratihabition 
directly  or  undirectly  in  time  coming,  otherwise  than  by  order 
of  law  and  justice,  under  the  pain  of  one  thousand  merks  Scots 
money,  likeas  I,  the  said  John  Grant,  further  bind  and  oblige 
me  my  heirs  executors  and  successors  to  free  and  release  my 
said  cautioner  and  his  above  specified  at  all  hands  and 
against  all  mortals.  Subscribed  at  Davochfour,  27  January 
1664,  before  Alexander  Mackintosh,  fiar  of  Connage,  Capt. 
William  Robertson,  merchant,  burgess  of  Inverness,  Angus 
Mackintosh  of  Daviot,  and  others." 

The  following  extract  from  a  similar  Bond  of  Caution  in 
lawburrows,  granted  same  date  and  place,  by  Glenmoriston,  for 
his  family  and  clan,  is  interesting  from  its  full  enumeration  of 
the  people  of  Glenmoriston  in  1664. 

John  Grant  of  Glenmoriston  binds  himself  to  free  William 
Robertson  of  Inshes  and  his,  and  harmless  and  skaithless  keep 
them  from  attack  or  molestation  by 

1  John  Grant,  tutor  of  Glenmoriston. 

2,  3  John  and  William  Grants,  his  lawful  sons. 

4  John  Mac  Neil  in  Invermoriston. 

5  Ewen  Mac  Iain  beg  there. 

6  Duncan  Roy  Mac  Homas  vie  William  there. 

7  Alexander  an  Greasich  there. 

8  Patrick  Smith  there. 

9  Donald  Mac  Conchie  mor  there. 

10  Donald  Mac  Iain  beg  vie  Iain  roy  there. 

11  Christopher  Mac  Coil  vie  Iain  roy  there. 

12  John  Mac  Alister  dhu  there. 

13  Donald  Mac  William  vie  Iain  roy  there. 


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294  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness 

14  Angus  Mac  Iain  vio  Neil  there. 

15  Duncan  Mac  Iain  vie  Neil  there. 

16  Donald  Mac  Hamish  vie  Couter  there. 

17  Donald  Mac  Finlay  vie  Iain  roy  in  Blairie, 

18  Ewen  Mac  Gillie  Cnriosd  there. 

19  John  Mac  Ewen  vie  Gillie  Chriost  there. 

20  John  Mac  Iain  reoch  there. 

21  Duncan  Mac  Coil  vie  Iain  in  Duldreggan  mor. 

22  John  Mac  Coil  buy  there. 

23  John  Mac  Fionlay,  brebiter,  there. 

24  Duncan  Macintyre  there. 

25  Donald  Mac  Iain  vie  Coil  buy  there. 

26  Ewen  Mac  Iain  roy  there. 

27  William  Mac  Allister  vie  Ewen  there. 

28  Ewen  Mac  Allister  vie  Ewen  ban  in  Duldreggan  beg. 

29  Donald  Mac  Angus  roy  there. 

30  Finlay  mor  Mac  Coil  there. 

31  John  buy  Mac  an  Taillear  there. 

32  Soirle  Mac  Iain  vie  Soirle  there. 

33  Donald  Mac  Aonas  vie  Coil  there. 

34  John  dhu  Mac  Iain  vie  William  in  Dalchregart  mor. 

35  Duncan  Mac  Allister  vie  Ewen  there. 

36  Allister  vie  Ewen  there. 

37  Gillespie  Mac  Conchie  vie  Ruarie  there. 

38  John  Mao  Iain  dhu  vie  Iain  in  Dalchregart  beg. 

39  Dugald  Mac  Iain  his  son  there. 

40  Duncan  ban  Mac  Iain  vie  Coil  there. 

41  Ferquhar  Mac  Iain  glas  there. 

42  John  Mac  Conchie  vie  Iain  vie  Coil  there. 

43  Duncan  Mac  Iain  vie  Conchie  his  son  there. 

44  Duncan  Fergusson  Mac  Iain  glas  there. 
.  45  Duncan  Mac  Gillespie  there. 

46  Donald  Mac  Iain  there. 

47  Donald  ban  Mac  Conchie  vie  Coul  in  Craskie. 

48  Ewen  Mac  Conchie  vie  Ruarie  there. 

49  William  Mac  Coul  there. 

50  Donald  Hamish  there. 

51  Donald  roy  vie  Coul  there. 

52  John  Grant,  Duncan's  son,  in  Inach. 

53  Malcolm  Mac  Iain  vie  Iain  rov  there. 

54  Lachlan  Mac  Allan  vie  Harlich  in  Achlean. 

55  John  ban  Mac  Coil  vie  Neil  there. 

56  John  Mac  Ewen  ban  in  Inchvalraig  ( ?). 

57  Rorie  Mao  Coil  vie  Ewen  there. 


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Minor  Highland  Families.  295 

58  Donald  Mac  Coil  vie  Ewen  there. 

59  Even  Mac  Iain  vie  Iain  vie  Ewen  thera 

60  Donald  Mac  Ruarie  vie  Coil  there. 

61  John  dhu  Mac  Coil  vie  Ewen  there. 

62  John  Mac  Iain  roy  there. 

63  Rorie  Mac  Coil  vie  Ewen  there. 

64  Duncan  Mac  William  vie  Iain  Roy  in  Dalcattaig. 

65  John  Coul  Mac  Fionlay  in  the  Inver. 

66  Donald  Mac  Coil  vie  Coul  in  Levishie. 

67  John  Mac  Ferquhar  vie  Quien  in  Blairie. 

68  Alexander  Mac  Conchie  ban  in  Duldreggan. 

69  Donald  Mac  Gill  Andrish  there. 

70  John  Mac  Conchie  vie  Iain  og  there. 

71  John  Mac  Iain  Gromach  there. 

72  Allister  Mac  Coil  ban  in  Dalchregart  mor. 

73  Duncan  Mac  Iain  mor  there. 

74  Alexander  Chisholm  in  Aonach. 

75  John  Mac  Coil  og,  vie  Coil  vie  Iain  ban  in  Achlean. 

76  Allan  his  son  there. 

77  John  dhu  Mac  Coil  vie  Ewen  there. 

This  list  is  rather  lengthy,  but  it  is  worth  giving  in  full, 
as  without  doubt  comprehending  every  family,  for  it  will  be 
noted,  that  while  each  township  is  gone  over,  a  few  additional 
names  are  added  as  if  of  those  omitted  at  first.  Putting  six  to 
a  family,  this  would  bring  out  500  souls,  and  it  is  known 
Glenmoriston  could  bring  into  the  field  120  fighting  men,  some 
from  Urquhart,  and  a  few  occasionally  from  Glengarry. 

It  was  not  until  27th  May,  1666,  that  matters,  through  the 
interposition  of  Sir  Hugh  Campbell  of  Calder,  and  the  payment 
by  Inshes  of  9500  merks,  were  finally  arranged,  and  a  Dis- 
charge and  Renunciation  executed  by  Glenmoriston,  which  is 
also  signed  by  Calder. 

I  now  revert  to  the  further  acquisitions  of  property  and 
dignities  by  John  Robertson  of  Inshes.  Upon  7th  July,  1615,  ' 
John  Robertson,  eldest  lawful  son  of  William  Robertson,  senior, 
burgess  of  Inverness,  is  admitted  a  free  burgess  of  Inverness. 
The  extract,  whicn  has  the  ancient  seal  of  the  burgh,  in  very 
good  condition  so  far  as  it  exists,  showing  both  sides,  is  signed 
by  the  Town  Clerk,  and  bears  to  have  been  granted  in  presence 
of  John  Cuthbert  of  Auld  Castlehill,  Provost  Alexander  Pater- 
son,  William  Campbell  and  Duncan  Forbes,  Bailies.  John 
Robertson  acquires  one  of  the  four  coble  fishings  on  the  Ness 
from  Finlay  Macphail.     He  also  acquires  Easter  Inshes,   also 


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296  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

Easter  Leys,  or  Leys  Cruin,  from  Simon,  Lord  Lovat.  The 
disposition,  dated  Dalcross-  Castle,  14th  May,  1629,  is  con- 
curred in  by  Lady  Lovat,  who  could  not  write. 

In  and  about  1626,  John  Robertson,  with  Duncan  Forbes, 
Provost,  Alexander  Baillie  of  Dunain,  and  many  other  pro- 
prietors, binds  himself  to  the  Earl  of  Moray,  on  behalf  of  the 
Clan  Chattan,  then  undergoing  violent  persecution  at  his  lord- 
ship's instance. 

Easter  Inshes  was  acquired  by  John  Robertson  from  Baillie 
of  Dunain,  who  had  held  them  for  a  short  time,  succeeding  a 
family  named  Macphail.  He  further  acquired  Wester  Inshes 
from  the  Patersons. 

There  was  an  hereditary  feud  'twixt  the  families  of  Paterson 
and  Robertson,  patched  up  for  a  time  by  the  marriage  of 
Alexander  Paterson  with  Katherine,  daughter  of  John  Robert- 
son, and  finally  ended  by  the  Patersons  withdrawing  from  the 
contest. 

Parts  of  the  forest  of  Draikies,  including  Bogbain,  were 
acquired  from  the  burgh,  and  thus  the  Inshes  propery  stretched 
in  part  from  the  sea  until  it  met  Mackintosh  at  the  Mount  of 
Daviot. 

John  Robertson,  described  of  Easter  Inshes,  merchant, 
burgess  of  Inverness,  married  Janet  Sinclair — contract  dated  at 
Edinburgh,  22nd  September,  1624 — daughter  of  William 
Sinclair,  Indweller  in  Leith,  then  widow  of  Alexander  Newall, 
merchant  in  Edinburgh,  with  the  consent  of  Marion  Purves, 
her  mother,  and  Robert  Baillie,  merchant  and  burgess  of 
Edinburgh,  then  Marion's  husband.  Inshes  signs  the  contract 
thus — "  Ihone  Robertson  Williams  son  of  Easter  Inshes  with 
my  hand." 

In  1628,  in  respect  of  John  Robertson  apologising  for 
aiding  the  Clan  Chattan,  the  Earl  of  Moray  is  graciously  moved 
to  acquit  Inshes,  by  deed  signed  at  the  Castle  of  Darn  away, 
3rd  February,  in  presence  of  Hucheon  Rose  of  KilravocJ:  and 
John,  his  brother  german. 

John  is  dead  before  17th  December,  1657,  survived  by 
Janet,  his  wife,  and  at  least  three  sons — William,  who  suc- 
ceeded; Hugh,  afterwards  Provost  of  Inverness;  and  George, 
described  as  John  Robertson's  third  son.  It  may  be  noted 
here  that  Inshes,  having  in  1647  petitioned  Parliament  for  a 
grant  of  10,000  merks  in  satisfaction  of  the  losses  by  and 
through  Glenmoriston,  is  voted  2000  merks. 


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Minor  Highland  Families.  297 

9.  William  Robertson,  who  reigned  for  the  long  period  of 
at  least  60  years — his  father  dying  in  1657,  ana  his  own  name 
being  found  as  owner  in  1717. 

William  Robertson  passed  as  an  advocate,  and  was  a  man 
of  considerable  attainments,  an  excellent  classic  scholar — some 
of  his  Latin  effusions  being  extant.  He  first  married  Magdalen 
Rose  of  Kilravock,  and  some  of  their  love  letters  exist,  most 
creditable  to  both,  for  they  would  stand  the  rather  crucial  test 
of  being  read  in  a  court  of  law.  Inshes  lost  his  wife  early, 
and  married  secondly  Sibilla  Mackenzie  of  Pluscardine.  Their 
second  daughter  married,  in  1698,  John  Rose  of  Holme.  The 
eldest  daughter,  Jean,  married,  same  year,  Duncan  brother  to 
Alexander  Robertson  of  Strowan.  Her  tocher  was  6000 
merks.  The  bride's  mother,  Sibilla  Mackenzie,  was  living,  and 
her  nearest  of  kin,  Provost  Hugh  Robertson,  and  Charles 
Mackenzie  of  Earnside.  Among  the  witnesses  to  the  contract 
are  John  Robertson  of  Lude  and  Patrick,  his  brother-german. 

William  Robertson  obtains  a  pew  for  himself  in  the  old 
High  Church  of  Inverness  in  1676,  by  the  following  Writ:  — 

"At  Inverness,  the  1st  day  of  August,  1676.  The  said 
day  there  was  a  supplication  presented  by  Mr  William  Robert- 
son of  Inshes,  making  his  humble  address  to  the  Session  of 
Inverness :  Regretting  the  inconvenience  for  himself  and  family 
in  the  High  Church  of  the  said  Burgh  for  the  reverent  and 
incumbent  attention  of  the  ordinances :  Desiring  he  might  be 
licensed  and  empowered  to  cause  build  and  erect  two  sufficient 
pews  next  to  the  Guildry's  dask.  Whereupon,  which  supplica- 
tion after  rype  and  grave  advisement,  was  found  very  reason- 
able, and  knowing  him  to  be  a  deserving  person,  the  whole 
members  of  the  Session  did  unanimously  grant  the  said  two 
pews,  and  thereby  to  inherit  and  enjoy  them  in  all  time  coming 
as  ane  undoubted  heritage.  For  which  two  pews,  the  said  Mr 
William  did  give  the  little  dask  sometime  belonging  to  his 
mother — And  to  be  given  to  Hugh  Robertson,  Treasurer,  and 
James  Cuthbert,  late  Bailie,  ordaining  also  these  presents  be 
insert  and  registrat  in  the  principal  Session  register  of  the 
Burgh,  therein  to  remain  for  future  security  and  preservation 
thereof.  Extracted  by  me.  (Signed)  John  Innes,  Clerk  of 
the  Session." 

The  last  Laird  has  often  told  me  that  at  this  time  the 
Gaelic  Church  pulpit,  originally  an  auctioneers  rostrum,  and 
made  in  Holland,  was  given  by  his  predecessors,  and  stood  in 
the  old  church  after  1664,  and  is  the  "  dask"  before  referred  to. 


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298  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

Inshes  had  busied  himself  in  erecting  the  handsome  place 
of  sepulture  of  the  family  adjoining  the  church.  It  was  feared 
that  it  would  block  a  window  in  the  aisle,  and  this,  it  will  be 
observed,  was  guarded  against  in  the  grant :  — 

"  At  Inverness,  the  [torn]  1664  years.  For  as  muckle  as 
Mr  William  Robertson  of  Inshes  gave  in  a  supplication  upon 
the  last  day  of  March  1663  years,  supplicating  the  Session  of 
Inverness  to  build  and  rear  up  ane  tombe  above  the  corpus'  of 
the  deceased  Marion  Purves  Lady  Walstown,  some  time  .»is 
grandmother, — The  Session  continued  and  delayed  the  same, 
fearing  the  building  of  the  foresaid  tombe  should  prejudge  the 
light  rights  of  the  said  church,  when  the  same  should  be  built, 
upon  the  west  side  of  the  side  wall  from  the  little  door  of  the 
old  aisle  of  the  said  church, — taking  ane  foot  or  thereby  of  the 
south  gable  gable  thereof, — as  the  compass  of  ground  in  length 
and  breadth  is  casten.  And  the  Session  taking  the  same  into 
consideration,  with  advice  and  consent  of  my  Lord  Bishop  of 
Moray,  has  given  and  granted,  and  by  these  presents  gives  and 
grants  hereby  to  the  said  William  Robertson  of  Inshes  to  build, 
rear,  and  make  up  the  said  tombe  as  is  above  designed,  with 
this  provision,  that  the  same  when  it  is  built  shall  in  no  ways 
prejudge  the  walls  or  lights  of  the  said  church  in  the  least. 
And  if  it  be  found  prejudicial  to  the  lights  or  walls  of  the  said 
church,  immediately  against  the  completing  thereof,  then  and 
in  that  case  by  the  signature  of  the  said  Lord  Bishop,  or  any 
person  he  shall  nominate  to  that  effect,  it  shall  be  demolished 
in  so  far  in  so  far  (sic)  as  it  shall  be  found  prejudicial  to  the 
lights  and  fabrick  foresaid.  And  likeways  the  Session,  with 
advice  and  of  command  of  my  Lord  Bishop  of  Moray,  dispones 
as  much  ground  in  length  and  breadth  as  above  designed,  to 
appertain  in  property  to  the  said  Mr  William  Robertson  of 
Inshes  and  his  family  as  their  burial  place  in  all  time  coming 
for  ever.     Whereupon  act. 

"  (Signed)         Murdo  Moravien,  Eps. 

"  Recorded  in  the  Kirk  Session  books,  9  February  1664/' 

In  1703  (7th  December),  John  Robertson,  younger  of  Inshes, 
is  contracted  in  marriage  with  Barbara  Balfour,  second 
daughter  of  Lieut.-Col.  John  Balfour  of  Fairnie.  The  contract 
is  dated  at  the  Canongate,  Edinburgh,  and  witnessed,  inter 
alias,  by  Arthur,  by  the  providence  of  God  Archbishop  of  St 
Andrews;  Alexander,  by  the  mercy  of  God  Bishop  of  Edin- 
burgh; John,  Master  of  Balmerino;  Sir  Robert  Douglas  of 
Kirkness;   Mr  Colin  Mackenzie,  advocate;   Sir  William  Gordon 


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Minor  Highland  Families.  29£ 

of  Dalpholly;  Thomas  Robertson,  second  son  to  Inshes; 
George  Innes,  younger  of  Coxtoun;  and  Mr  James  Elphin- 
stone,  son  to  the  Master  of  Balmerino.  This  was  a  high  match 
for  the  family,  but,  unfortunately,  the  tocher  was  moderate, 
and  the  family  lived  up  to,  if.  not  beyond,  their  means. 

The  following  letter  from  Bumper/'  John  Forbes  of  Cul- 
loden,  dated  1714,  shows  the  close,  kindly,  and  neighbourly 
footing  on  which  the  Culloden,  Castlehill,  and  Inshes  families, 
near  neighbours,  lived  :  — 

Culloden,  21st  October  1714. 
"  Sir, 

"  Your  good  friend  and  mine,  Castlehill,  tells  me 
that  you  are  much  my  friend.  I  do  indeed  believe  it,  and 
though  I  cannot  at  this  time  or  in  this  manner  express  the  true 
sense  I  have,  and  always  will  have,  for  your  friendship,  I 
assure  you,  on  the  word  of  a  comrade,  that  none  longs  more 
for  ane  opportunity  to  serve  you  or  wishes  better  to  your 
familie  than, 

"  Dear  Sir, 
"  Your  most  affectionate  cousin 
and  faithful  friend, 

(Signed)         "Jo.  Forbes. 
(Addressed)         "  The  Honourable 

"  The  Laird  of  Inshes." 

In  1703,  Thomas  Robertson,  only  son  of  John,  only  son  of 
Provost  Hugh  Robertson  before  mentioned,  married  Miss 
Coutts,  of  Montrose;  and  in  1713,  Captain  Thomas  Paterson, 
of  Montrose,  marries  Mary,  daughter  of  William  Robertson — 
William  Coutts,  Provost  of  Montrose,  being  one  of  the  wit- 
nesses. Of  this  family  sprung  the  founder  of  the  historic 
banking  house  of  Coutts. 

A  younger  son  of  Inshes,  Thomas,  is  described  in  1723  as* 
"  late  General  Surveyor  of  the  Customs  at  Inverness." 

The  following  excellent  letter,  from  old  Robertson  of 
Strowan  to  his  clansman,  Inshes  the  younger,  may  be  inserted 
here :  — 

"  The  letter  you  mentioned  which  you  did  me  the  honour  to 
design  for  me,  never  came  to  my  hands,  else  to  be  sure  I  had 
made  you  a  return  in  due  time. 

"I  cannot  think  the  trustees  on  your  estate  can  or  will 
refuse  so  just  a  demand  as  to  count  and  reckon  for  their 
intromissions.  If  the  matter  be  put  into  a  clear  light,  there  are 
none  upon  the  Bench  but  must  see  it  reasonable;    and  I  am 


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300  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

persuaded  that  my  Lord  President,  whom  you  have  strove  to 
oblige,  will  use  his  influence  in  your  cause.  He  is  a  person  who 
will  not  be  biassed  in  a  point  that  is  palpable  oppression,  xnis 
is  the  world's  opinion  of  him,  and  must  not  be  contradicted. 
So  that  it  seems  to  be  your  main  business  at  present  to  get 
your  design  represented  in  a  handsome  manner  to  his  Lordship, 
who  will  certainly  do .  you  justice  and  also  generosity.  But 
things  must  be  done  with  great  modesty  and  temper.  As  for 
myself,  I  am  the  most  oppressed  man  in  the  nation,  and  my 
affairs  have  strangely  fluctuated  ever  since  my  old  agent — 
worthy  George  Robertson — departed  this  life;  nor  do  I  well 
know  which  hand  to  turn  me  to.  So  does  villainy  prevail  in 
this  world. 

"  But  as  the  Lady  Inshes  is  now  at  Edinburgh,  she  can  well 
settle  charges  with,  and  know  the  method  of  bringing  your 
trustees  to  reason.  I  am  in  a  manner  endeavouring  the  same 
against  some  trustees  of  my  own  name,  who  are  attempting  to 
do  injustice  to  my  father's  family,  against  the  laws  of  God  and 
man.  But  I  am  hoping,  with  the  assistance  of  Providence,  at 
length  to  get  the  better  of  them — and  their  perjuries,  forgeries, 
calumnies,  and  notorious  lies,  defeated.  All  I  have  done  must,  at 
long  run,  drop  me  into  confusion. 

"  Mr  Ross  advises  me  to  write  my  advice  to  Provost 
Hossack,  which  I  will  do  in  a  day  or  two.  What  influence 
that  may  have  upon  him  I  cannot  tell,  but  I  shall  do  my  best. 
Being  with  utmost  affection,  Dear  Sir, 

"  Your  most  obliged  cousin  and  servt., 

"  (Signed)         A.  Robertson  of  Strowan. 

"Hermitage,  July  20,  1742."      . 

In  1742  old  William  Robertson  is  noted  for  the  last  time, 
.while  John,  his  son,  and  William,  his  grandson,  are  both 
mentioned. 

10.  John  Robertson  succeeded,  and,  earning  nothing,  while 
his  manner  of  living  was  much  in  excess  of  his  means,  brought 
his  affairs  and  the  estate  to  a  low  point.  He  was  succeeded  by 
his  son, 

11.  William  Robertson,  who,  equally  careless,  did  nothing 
to  improve  matters.  The  Duke  of  Cumberland  and  his  advisers 
tried  hard,  here,  there,  and  everywhere,  to  get  up  evidence 
against  all  landowners  or  men  of  any  property  who 
might  have  shown  themselves  favourable  to  the  Stuarts, 
in    order    to    confiscate    their    estates.        Of    the    very    few 


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Minor  Highland  Families.  301 

on  whom  an  impression  was,  they  imapined,  made,  one  was 
this  William  Robertson,  a  weak  man,  in  the  fullest  sense  of 
the  word.  He  was  sent  up  to  London  to  give  evidence,  but 
thought  better  of  his  position,  if  the  whole  were  not  a  plot  for 
incriminating  neighbours  got  up  by  the  Duke,  and,  on  interro- 
gation in  London,  he  took  up  the  position  of  "  nihil  novit," 
and  that  the  reports  about  his  knowledge  were  unfounded. 
He  was  sent  back  to  Inverness,  as  mentioned  in  the  letter 
given :  — 

"  London,  10th  February,   1747. 
"  Sir, 

"  The  bearer,  Mr  William  Robertson  of  Inshes, 
one  of  the  J.P.'s  for  the  County  of  Inverness,  is  one  of  those 
that  was  ordered  up  by  His  Royal  Highness' s  orders.  I  spoke 
of  him  to  you  formerly.  Sir  Everard  Fawkner  has  remitted 
him  to  you,  to  consider  what  it  is  proper  he  should  have  for 
carrying  his  charges  down  to  Inverness.  You'll  therefore 
please  let  him  have  what  you  judge  proper,  as  he  can  be  of  no 
manner  of  use  here.  I  have  given  orders  as  to  the  clothing  of 
two  men  you  mentioned  to  me.  I  am,  with  great  respect,  Sir, 
"  Your  most  obedient  servt., 

"  (Signed)         David    Bruce." 

His  connections  were  much  distressed  about  his  supposed 
disclosures,  as  may  be  seen  from  this  letter,  from  a  near 
relative  on  the  mother's  side,  dated  22nd  September,  1746 — 
a  letter  reflecting  the  high  character  of  the  writer,  who  pro- 
bably had  no  sympathy  with  the  Jacobites :  — 

"  Dear  WiUie, 

"  By  a  letter  I  had  from  my  sister  Inshes, 
of  the  13th,  I  was  confounded  to  hear  of  your  being  at  London, 
since  she  did  not  assign  me  any  cause  for  it. 

"  I  supposed  it  had  been  upon  a  call  from  Lord  President, 
who  has  always  proved  your  true  friend,  and  is  a  man  of  ..he 
greatest  honour;  but  as  my  sister  would  certainly  have  wrote 
me  if  that  had  been  the  case,  I  am  hopeful  you  will  take  no 
step  there  without  his  particular  advice  and  direction,  and  then 
you  are  sure  you  will  act  no  part  but  what  is  consistent  with 
a  man  of  honour.  It  gives  me  pain  for  the  '  fama  clamosa'  of 
your  journey  there,  though  it  is  not  possible  for  me  to  give  the 
least  credit  to  it. 

"  Every  good  man  will  think  himself  bound  by  his  conscience 
to  serve  his  King  and  his  country  (even  to  the  last  drop  of  his 


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302  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness 

blood)  in  what  is  honourable.  But  uiere  are  some  employ- 
ments that  have  ever  been  and  will  ever  be  of  so  infamous  a 
nature  that  the  accepting  of  them  must  of  necessity  make  one 
infamous  and  detestable  to  all  mankind,  even  to  those  very 
persons  that  make  use  of  them  to  serve  their  ends.  It  is  an 
employ  inconsistent  with  honour,  truth,  religion,  charity,  or 
any  one  thing  that  is  consistent  with  religion.  It  is  only  fit  for 
the  devil  and  his  angels — it  is  what  cuts  one  off.  for  ever  with 
not  only  every  friend  and  good  man;  but  even  men  otherwise 
wicked  won't  have  any  intercourse  with  such  men.  God  forbid 
that  any  friend  I  have  the  least  concern  in  should  be  so 
demented.  For  my  part,  I  would  have  more  pleasure  in 
seeing  my  relation  and  friend  hanged,  drawn,  and  quartered, 
rather  than  accept  of  such  ane  hellish  employ.  And  therefore, 
my  dear  Willie,  as  it  is  impossible  that  you  could  give  any 
person  encouragement  to  believe  you  capable  of  so  wicked  and 
abominable  a  trade,  which  would  not  only  bring  infamy  on 
yourself,  but  more  or  less  on  your  friends  and  relations. 
Sure  you  could  not  be  poisoned  with  such  sentiments  from  any 
sprung  of  my  father's  loins.  It  gives  all  your  friends  here 
the  utmost  concern  to  hear  such  a  clamour;  and  though  we 
are  persuaded  you  would  rather  part  with  your  life  than  your 
honour,  yet  all  of  us  expect  that  you  will  signify  it  under  your 
hand — that  to  say  you  are  capable  of  any  such  infamous  trade 
is  malicious  and  wicked;  and  therefore  by  your  telling  me  the 
truth  in  plain  terms,  I  will  have  it  in  my  power  to  suppress 
this  '  fama  clamosa/  and  take  people  to  task  who  shall  venture 
thereafter  to  sully  your  character.  Write  me  per  post  directly,  to 
the  care  of  Mr  John  Mackenzie,  W.S.,  Edinburgh.  You  can 
easily  believe  what  concern  I  must  have  in  your  character, 
therefore  consider  the  anxiety  I  must  have  till  I  hear  from 
you.     I  am,  dear  Willie, 

"  Your  most  affecate.  uncle, 

"  (Signed)        John  Crawfurd.. 
"  Ballingry,  22  Sepr.  1746." 

12.  Arthur  Robertson  succeeded  to  an  estate  practically  in 
the  hands  of  creditors,  but,  by  dint  of  attention  and  abihtv, 
contrived,  during  his  long  possession,  extending,  like  that  of 
his  predecessor,  William,  over  60  years,  to  keep  up  a  good 
position,  and  maintain  the  credit  of  the  family.  In  his  time, 
however,  all  the  old  and  considerable  burghal  property  was 
disposed  of.  His  brother,  Captain  Thomas,  died  in  India, 
leaving   some   means,    which   had   to   be   shared    with    others, 


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Minor  Highland  Families,  303 

including  a  sister,  Johanna,  found  in  1772  as  spouse  of  Capt. 
Zebulon  Cockerell,  of  Sunderland.  Their  grandmother,  the  old 
Lady  Irishes,  Mrs.  Barbara  Balfour,  was  still  alive.  Being  a 
freeholder,  Inshes  had  considerable  influence,  and  by  his  own 
and  his  successor's  warm  support  of  the  Grants,  after  the  Lovats 
had  retired,  earned  their  gratitude  and  substantial  good-will, 
as  many  of  their  letters  testify. 

In  1817  Arthur  Robertson  is  dead,  and  was  succeeded  by 
his  son, 

13.  Masterton  Robertson,  married  to  Miss  Shearer,  which 
lady  many  old  Invernessians  will  recollect,  a  conspicuous  figure, 
in  her  pew  in  the  gallery  of  the  High  Church.  Masterton 
Robertson  was  rather  unfortunate,  and  had  to  submit  to  be 
put  under  trust,  during  which  period  the  family  lost  Easter 
Leys,  acquired  by  Lachlan  Mackintosh  of  Raigmore.  In  his 
Glasgow  student  days,  Masterton  was  on  very  intimate  terms 
with  another  student  who  afterwards  became  famous — Francis, 
Lord  Jeffrey. 

One  of  Jeffrey's  letters  from  Oxford,  without  date — shewing 
that  thorough  belief,  if  not  conceit,  of  his  own  powers  and 
judgment,  afterwards  so  conspicuous — -may  be  given  as  an  early 
specimen  of  the  writer's  decided  views  on  whatever,  subjects  or 
persons  he  chose  to  discuss.  The  writing  is  so  bad  as  make  it 
almost  unreadable:  — 

"  I  received  your  letter  last  week,  and  from  the  expedition 
with  whifch  it  appeared  to  have  been  transmitted,  I  am  more 
puzzled  to  account  for  the  delay  in  the  postage  of  my  first, 
which  ought  to  have  reached  you  almost  a  fortnight  before  you 
appear  to  have  received  it,  as  you  will  see  from  the  date. 

"  My  hands  are  so  cold  I  can  scarcely  write,  you  see — so 
while  I  am  (suppling?)  them  at  the  fire,  I  will  look  over  your 
letter  again,  that  this  may  be,  in  a  true  and  legal  sense,  an 
answer  to  it. 

"  Now — ay — this  is  something  like ;  my  handwriting  is  not 
at  any  time  superlatively  elegant,  but  when  my  fingers  are 
cold  you  see  what  I  make  of  it. 

"  You  ask  me  to  drop  you  some  English  ideas.  My  dear 
fellow,  I  am  as  much,  nay  more,  a  Scotchman  than  I  was  while 
an  inhabitant  of  Scotland.  My  opinions,  ideas,  prejudices,  and 
systems  are  all  Scotch — the  only  part  of  a  Scothchman  I  mean 
to  abandon  is  the  language,  and  language  is  all  I  expect  to 
learn  in  England,  and  indeed,  except  it  be  playing  and  drink- 
ing, I  see  nothing  else  that  it  is  possible  to  acquire  in  this 


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304  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

place,  both  of  them  unfortunate  accomplishments,  in  which   I 
have  neither  ability  nor  inclinations  to  excel. 

"  As  to  playing,  I  think  I  told  you  how  much  we  had  of 
that,  and  for  drinking,  if  I  could  only  make  you  walk  down 
my  staircase,  I  think  you  would  understand  what  rioting  in 
College  means.  More,  Sir,  you  would  see  the  fragments  of 
doors  which  were  broken  to  pieces  last  night,  then  you  would 
see  all  the  shattered,  splintered  frames  of  the  windows,  without 
one  pane  of  glass  entire,  and  the  railing  of  the  stair  itself 
•  violently  torn,  more  than  one  half  of  it  lying  on  the  landing- 
place,  a  trophy  of  their  prowess.  Nor  were  their  depredations 
confined  to  my  neighbourhood,  but  extended  over  the  whole 
College,  and  this  is  a  scene  which  is  lately  acted  even  three  or 
four  times  a  week. 

"  What  hints  you  expect  upon  our  learned  Masters  I  am 
at  a  loss  to  guess,  but  unwilling  to  disappoint  you,  I  shall  give 
their  general  character  in  a  few  words.  ±ne  Fellows,  in  Heads 
of  Colleges,  are  in  general  men  of  a  drowsy,  stupid,  gluttonous, 
sottish  disposition,  resembling  in  their  external  appearance  and 
address  our  old  friend  Bauldy  Arthur.  Men  who  had  in  their 
youth,  by  dint  of  regular,  persevering  study,  painfully  acquired 
a  considerable  knowledge  of  the  requisite  branches  of  science, — 
which  knowledge  served  only  to  make  them  pedants,  and  to 
render  still  more  austere  and  disgusting,  together  with  that 
torpid  insensibility  and  awkwardness  which  they  had  contracted 
in  the  course  of  their  painful  retirement  from  the  world.  Men 
who,  accustomed  themselves  to  pay  a  vile  and  sycophistical 
reverence  to  their  superiors,  while  they  had  them,  now  insist 
upon  a  similar  adoration  and  observance  to  themselves. 

"  If  you  add  to  this  a  violent  attachment  to  the  game  o 
whist,  and  to  the  wine  called  Port,  you  will  have  a  pretty 
accurate  conception  of  the  venerable  men  to  whose  hands  I  am 
now  committed,  and  under  the  influence  of  whose  example  I 
cannot  fail  to  acquire  every  virtue  and  every  accomplishment 
under  Heaven. 

"  But  this  is  really  very  uncharitable,  for  there  are  exceptions 
to  this  character  within  this  College. 

"  I  am  quite  in  the  horrors  at  the  prospect  of  the  long 
lonely  winter  nights  I  must  wear  out  in  this  dull,  dismal  place, 
without  the  assistance  of  company,  or  public  places,  ->r  family 
parties,  or  old  acquaintances,  or  anything  that  can  render  cold 
and  confinement  tolerable. 

"  I  am  half  ashamed  of  the  length  of  this  letter,  but  I  have 
so  many  occasions  to  apologize  for  the  same  fault  that  I  have 


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Minor  Highland  Families.  305 

oome  boldly  not  to  consider  it1  at  all,  and  tc  be  quite  callous 
upon  the  subject;  or  to  make  no  secret  of  whai  will  not  be  hid, 
I  very  seldom  write  shorter  letters  than  this. 

"  I  hope,  however,  that  this  fair  confession  will  not  frighten 
you  from  my  correspondence,  but  rather  stimulate  you  to  a 
similar  conduct,  and  induce  you  to  punish  me  only  by  retaliar 
tion. 

"  Are  there  any  resident  in  Glasgow  whom  I  know  ? 
Compts.  to  every  body,  say  for  me  all  that  you  think  I  should 
have  said,  and  believe  that  I  am, 

"  Yours  sincerely, 

"  (Signed)         F.  Jeffrey. 
"  Do  not  address  me  as  '  Student  of  Laws.'     We  have  no 
classes  here,  so  this  appellation  is  improper,  and  God  knows 
what  those  precise  gentry  may  say  to  it. 
"  Masterton  Robertson,  Esqre., 
"  Student  of  Laws, 

"  University  of  Glasgow/' 

Masterton  Robertson  did  not  survive  long  as  owner,  and 
was  succeeded  by  his  eldest  son, 

14.  Arthur  John  Robertson,  so  well  known  in  and  about 
Inverness.  Gifted  with  great  natural  talents,  he  was  charming 
company,  -ospitable  and  kindly  to  a  degree.  He  married 
twice;  first,  Miss  Marianne  Pattinson,  of  Montreal,  through 
whom,  in  his  latter  years,  he  succeeded  to  valuable  Canadian 
property.  She  left  both  sons  and  daughters,  one  being  wife  of 
Surgeon-General  Mackay,  who  has  had  a  distinguished  career. 
He  was  for  some  time  resident  in  Inverness,  and  now  in  Edin- 
burgh, an  active  Chieftain  of  the  Clan  Mackay  Association, 
which,  for  wealth  and  energy,  ranks  amongst,  if  not  the  first  of 
modern  Clan  Associations.  Of  this  marriage  there  are  several 
descendants. 

Inshes'  eldest  son,  also  named  Arthur,  died  during  his 
father's  lifetime,  leaving  a  son,  who  represents  the  family  of 
Inshes.  The  late  Inshes  was  a  great  improver,  and  spent 
beyond  the  returning  capacity  of  the  estate.  This,  and  the 
amount  of  inherited  debt,  ultimately  caused  a  sale  of  Inshes, 
purchased  by  one  of  the  numerous  family  of  Bairds,  who  bought 
land  so  largely  in  Scotland  some  years  ago. 

By  the  death  of  my  worthy  and  valued  friend,  the  late 
Arthur  John  Robertson,  terminated  that  close  connection 
between  the  Robertsons  and  the  town  of  Inverness,  which 
lasted  for  over  four  hundred  years. 

20 


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306  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 


11th  MARCH,  1897. 

At  the  meeting  this  evening,  Mr  John  Mackintosh,  57  Church 
Street,  Inverness,  was  eleeted  an  ordinary  member  of  the  Society, 
Thereafter  Mr  A.  Macbain,  M.A.,  read  a  paper  of  critical  and 
historical  comments  on  an  ancient  Ossianic  ballad,  entitled,  "  The 
Ballad  of  the  Mantle,"  which  he  supplemented  by  another  paper 
on  "  Some  further  Gaelic  Etymologies."  This  paper  is  as 
follow  : — 

FURTHEE  GAELIC  WOUDS  AND  ETYMOLOGIES. 

Since  the  publication  of  my  Etymological  Dictionary  of  the 
Gaelic  Language  in  January,  1896,  I  have  had  the  benefit  of 
criticisms  of  that  work  both  publicly  and  privately,  and  the  result 
of  these,  along  with  what  I  have  gleaned  from  my  own  reading 
and  thinking,  I  here  give  to  the  Gaelic  Society  and  the  public,  so 
as  to  form  a  sort  of  addenda  and  corrigenda  to  my  dictionary.  I 
have  to  thank  the  critics  of  that  work  for  their  almost  unanimous 
'praise  of  it ;  its  reception  was  very  flattering  indeed.  The  criti- 
cisms of  mont  weight  were  from  foreign  scholars,  the  best  in  the 
way  of  addition  and  suggestion  being  that  of  Prof.  Kuno  Meyer 
in  the  Zeitschrift  fur  Celtische  Philologie.  In  Scotland  the 
Inverness  Courier  gave  the  weightiest  judgment  on  the  general 
philology  of  the  work  ;  and  other  papers  and  periodicals  as  well 
added  their  quota  of  fruitful  criticism.  Nor  did  the  work'  fail  to 
meet  with  critics  who  acted  on  Goldsmith's  golden  rule  in  the 
"  Citizen  of  the  World  " — to  ask  of  any  comedy  why  it  was  not  a 
tragedy,  and  of  any  tragedy  why  it  was  not  a  comedy.  I  was 
asked  how  I  had  not  given  derivative  words —though  for  that 
matter  most  of  the  seven  thousand  words  in  the  Dictionary  are 
derivatives  ;  such  a  question  overlooked  the  character  of  the  work. 
Manifest  derivatives  belong  to  ordinary  dictionaries,  not  to  an 
etymological  one.  This  was  clearly  indicated  in  the  preface ;  the 
work,  too,  followed  the  best  models  on  the  subject — Prellwitz, 
Wharton,  and  Skeat.  Another  criticisia  was  unscientific  in  the 
extreme :  I  was  found  fault  with  for  excluding  Irish  words ! 
Why,  it  was  the  best  service  I  could  render  to  Celtic  philology  to 
present  a  pure  vocabulary  of  the  Scottish  dialect  of  Gadelic  ;  the 
talk  of  the  impossibility  of  "  reading  the  marches"  between  Irish 
and  Gaelic  may  be  Celtic  patriotism,  but  it  is  not  science*  As 
against  this  criticism,  I  was  especially  congratulated  by  Prof. 
Windisch  for  attempting  to  read  these  same  marches.     A  funny 


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Gaelic  Words  and  Etymologies.  307 

-criticism  was  passed  on  the  style  of  printing  adopted  for  the 
leading .  words ;  no  capitals  are  used  at  the  beginning  of  each 
article.  The  critic  had  not  seen  a  dictionary  before  without  such 
capitals,  and  it  offended  his  eye  to  see  my  work  so  "  headless"  as 
it  is  !  Here  again  acquaintance  with  like  philological  works  would 
have  removed  the  "  offence"  and  shown  the  utility  of  the  style. 
In  fact  in  Gaelic,  with  its  accented  vowels,  capital  initials  are 
troublesome  and  unsightly,  and  the  philological  method  is  at 
once  more  scientific  and  more  easy  to  work. 

The  following  vocabulary  contains  (1)  etymologies  for  words 
not  etymologised  in  my  dictionary  ;  (2)  new  or  corrected  ety- 
mologies for  words  already  otherwise  traced  ;  and  (3)  words 
omitted.  These  new  words  have  come  from  the  public  and 
private  criticisms  and  suggestions  already  referred  to,  and  from 
.another  overhauling  of  such  dictionaries  as  M 'Alpine  andN 
M'Eacban. 

Ordinary  Vocabulary. 

a,  who,  that  (rel.  pron.).  In  G.  this  is  merely  the  verbal  particle 
do  of  past  time,  used  also  to  explain  the  aspiration  of  the 
future  rel.  sentence,  which  is  really  paratactic,  as  in  the  past 
rel.  sentence.  Oblique  cases  are  done  by  an,  am  (for  san, 
sam,  0.  Ir.  nan,  sam),  the  neut.  of  art.  used  as  rel.  (cf.  Eng. 
that).  The  rel.  locative  is  sometimes  done  by  the  prep,  an, 
am  :  "An  coire  am  bi  na  caoraich"  (1776  Collection,  p.  112). 

aba,  abbot,  M.  Ir.  apdaine,  abbacy,  in  M.  G.  "abbey  lands," 
whence  place-names  Appin,  older  Abbathania  (1310),  Abthein 
(1220),  "abbey  lands." 

abhall,  an  orchard,  apple-tree,  M,  Ir.  aball,  apple-tree.    See  ubhal. 

•ibhaist,  custom,  M.  tr.  dbaisi  (pi.).  Meyer  suggests  from  N. 
dvist,  abode  :  unlikely. 

abhras,  spinning,  0.  Ir.  abras,  gestus,  E.  Ir.  abras,  handiwork, 
spinning,  abairsech,  needlewoman. 

Abraon,  April  :  the  form  is  due  to  folk-etymology,  wThich  relates 
it  to  brdon. 

acair,  anchor;  from  N.  akkeri:  acarsaid,  anchorage,  from  N. 
akkarsaeti,  "anchor-seat."     From  L.  ancora. 

achlaid,  chase,  pursuit,  so  Ir.,  M.  Ir.  acclaid,  fishing,  E.  Ir. 
atclaid,  fishes,  hunts,  pursues  :  ad-claidim  ;  see  claoidh. 

adhal,  flesh  hook,  0.  Ir.  del,  tridens  :  *pavelo~,  Lat.  pavire  ?  But 
cf.  Eng.  awl,  M.  E,  and  Ag.  S.  awel,  awl,  flesh-hook. 

adhbhal,  vast.  Stokes  and  Osthoff  give  root  bel,  bol,  strong, 
big,     Skr.     balam,    strength,     Gr.     fik\npo&,    better,    Lat. 


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308  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

de-bilis,   weak,    Ch.    SI.    boliji,   greater  ;    whence   bailceach 

(Osthoft)  and  bail,  buil. 
&gh,  also  Wh,  happiness,  Late  M.  Ir.  dd,  Ir.  ddh,  dgh. 
aibheil,  huge  (MkE  ).     See  adhbhaL 
aice,  a  lobster's  burrow,  also  faiche. 
aingeal,  light,  fire,  Manx  ainle,  M.  Ir.  aingel,  sparkling  :  *pangelos> 

Ger.funke,  M.  E.  fnnke. 
ainis,  anise,  M.  Ir.  in  amis,  gloss  on  "  anisum  cyminum  dulce." 
ainstil,  fury,  over-nizzing  :  an  +  steall. 
airchios,  pity  :  see  oircheas. 
&iridh,  better  airigh,  hill  pasture,  sheiling  :  Norse  or  Danish  erg 

from  Gaelic  equals  Norse  setr  (Ork.  Sag.).     This  Norse  form 

proves  the  identity  of  Gaelic  with  E.  Ir.  airge. 
aisneis,  rehearsing  :  root  vet,  Lat.  veto  (Stokes),  but  this  does  not 

account  for  i  of  0.  Ir.  anndis. 
aisead,  delivery  ;  from  ad-sem-t,  root  sem  as  in  taom  (Stokes). 
aitlonn,  jumper  ;  *at-tenn-,   "  sharp  bush  or  tree"  ;  from  root  at, 

sharp,  E.  Ir.  aith,  sharp.     For  -tenn,  see  caorrunn. 
&lainn,  beautiful.     Stokes  prefers   referring  it   to  dil,  pleasant, 

*pagli-,  Eng.  fair,  root  pag. 
all-tapadh,  mischance ;  from  all-  and  tapadk. 
alp,  ingraft,  also  ealp. 
amal,  swingle-tree :  cf.  N.  hamla,  oar-loop. 
amarlaid,  blustering  female  ;  not  amarlaich. 
amart,  need  (Dial.), 
amhach,  neck :  *om-dk-d ;  Lat.    humerus,    shoulder   (*om-es-os)  ; 

Gr.  (5/aos;  Got.  amsa. 
amhain,  entanglement  by  the  neck  (M'A.) ;  from  above. 
amhsan  (ansan),  Dial,  osan,  solan  goose  ;  from  Lat.  anserl 
anabas,  dregs,  also  green,  unripe  stuff  cut ;  from  an-abaich. 
anacair,  affliction :  an-skocair. 

aobharrach,  a  young  person  or  beast  of  good  promise,  hobble- 
dehoy ;  from  aobhar,  material, 
aoideag,  hair-lace,  fillet ;  from  root  of  aodach. 
aoine,    fast :  Stokes   suggests   Gr.   Trcivao),    hunger,   as    cognate, 

making  it  native  :  *poin-io-.     Unlikely, 
aoirean,  ploughman,   herdsman,  airean  (M'A.),   Ir.   oireamh,   g. 

oireamkan,    ploughman,    the    mythic     Eremon,    Airemfon), 

*arjamon-,  Skr.  Arjaman,  further  Aryan  (?) ;  root  ar,  plough. 
aoirneagan,  wallowing  ;  see  aonagail. 
aol,  lime  :  *aidlo-,  from  aidh,  light,  fire,  Gr.  alOa),  gleam  (St.). 

See  Machay. 


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Gaelic  Words  and  Etymologies.  ,  309 

ar,  seems,  ar  leam,  methinks,  Ir.,  M.  Ir.  dar,  E.  Ir.  indar,  atar, 
with  la,  0.  Ir.  inda,  ata,  da  ;  where  ta,  tar  is  the  verb  tha 
(thathar),  is,  with  prep,  or  rel.  in  before  it.     See  na,  than. 

ar-amach,  rebellion  ;  for  *eirigh-amach,  "  out-rising." 

arsa,  quoth :  Stokes  refers  it  to  the  root  ver,  verdh,  Eng.  word, 
adducing  E.  Ir.  fordat,  ordat,  oldat,  inquiunt,  for  the  verdh 
root.  Thurneysen  objects  that  ol  or  for  is  a  preposition,  the 
-dat  being  the  verb  ta  ou  analogy  with  other  forms  indds, 
olddte.  The  original  is  al,  propter,  "further"  (see  thall), 
like  Latin  turn  ("  turn  ille" — then  he),  later  or  or  for,  and 
later  still  ar — all  prepositions,  denoting  "  further." 

astar,  journey,  E.  Ir.  astur :  *ad-sod-ro-n,  root  sod,  sed,  go ;  Gr. 
6S6s,  way,  Ch.  SI.  choditi,  go ;  Eng.  ex-odus. 

athar,  evil  effect,  consequence  :  *at-ro-n,  from  ath,  "  re-." 

atharnaeh,  second  crop,  ground  ready  for  second  crop. 

atharrais,  mimicking,  mocking  (Dial,  ailis) :  ath-aithris,  "  re- 
say,"  Ir.  aithris,  tell,  imitation.     See  aithris. 

babhd,  a  surmise  (M'A.),  quirk. 

bad,  cluster;  cf.  Lat.  fascis  (*fa&-scis). 

badhail,  a  churchyard  (Sutherland),  i.e.  u  enclosure,"  same  as 
babhun. 

baghan,  stomach, '  Dial,  maghan  (Sutherland) ;  cf.  Eng.  maw, 
Ger.  maqen,  Nerse  magi. 

bagileis,  loo^e  lumber  or  baggage  (Argyle)  ;  from  baggage. 

bail,  baileach :  see  adhbhal. 

bairig,  bestow ;  from  Eng.  ware,  as  also  bathar. 

baisceall,  wild  person :  M.  Ir.  basgell  (i.  geltan),  boiscell. 

balla,  wall,  Ir.  balla,  fala  (Munster). 

banais,  wedding,  M.  Ir.  banais,  g.  baindse. 

bansgal  (Dial,  banasgal),  a  female,  a  hussy,  Ir.  bansgal,  E.  Ir. 
banscdl,  0.  Ir.  banscala,  servae ;  root  of  sgalag,  as  given  in 
the  Dictionary. 

b&rraisg,  boasting,  brag,  b&rsaich,  vain,  prating ;  see  bctirseag. 

beadaidh,  impudent,  E.  Ir.  bet,  talking,  shameless  girl  (Conn.) : 
*beddo-,  *bez-do-  root  bet,  get,  as  in  beul. 

bearach,  dogfish,  0.  Ir.  berach,  verutus,  from  bior  (Meyer)  ;  cf. 
Eng.  "  picked  or  horned  dogfish." 

beartach,  rich,  W.  berth,  rich,  berthedd,  riches. 

bicein,  a  single  grain  (Arg.). 

binid,  also  minid  (Arg.) ;  cf.  muinne,  stomach. 

biorsnaois,  bowsprit  of  a  sailing  boat  (N.  Lochaber). 

blosg,  sound  a  horn,  W.  bloedd,  a  shout,  from  *blog&o-,  tor  blo&go-; 
cf.  meag,  W.  maidd. 


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310  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

b6id,   vow,  M.  Ir.  in  udit  ;   from  Lat.   vdtum,  as   is   also   mdid 

(Stokes), 
bdl,  bowl ;  not  bol. 
bdrlanachd,  mdrlanachd,  compulsory  labour  for  the  proprietor ; 

from  Eng.  bordland,  as  under  bbrlum.     Hence  M'Morland. 
b6rlum,  a  flux  ;  for  bbrc4um  ;  see  bore. 
braile,  braighlich,  a  rattling  noise  (Perth) ;  see  braodhlach. 
braodag,  a  huff. 
braon,  rain.     Stokes  derives  it  from  root  ver   (see  feartkuinn), 

*vroeni  but  unlikely, 
brasailt,  panegyric,  E.  Ir.  bras-scilach,  panegyrical ;  from  0.  Ir. 

bras,  great,  W.  and  Br.  bras ;  cf.  Lat.  grossus,  Eng.  gross. 
breacan,  a  plaid,  Ir.  breacdn,  W.  brecan,  rug ;  from  breac.     Rhys 

regards  W.  as  borrowed  from  Irish. 
brim,  pickle  (Arg.)  ;  from  Eng.  brine. 
brod,  a  lid ;  from  Sc.  brod,  side  form  of  Eng.  board. 
brolamas,  a  mess  ;  same  root  as  brollach. 
broth,  lunar  halo  (Arg.),  or  brogb  :  cf.  0.  Ir.  hrutk,  heat,  under 

bruihainn 
bruais,  gnash :  *bhraud-so-,  Lat  fraus,  Eug.  brittle. 
bungaid,  a  hussy  (Dial.)  ;  from  Sc.  hunyy,  pettish. 
btirlam,  a  flood,  rush  of  water  (Arg.) ;  see  bbrlum. 
burraidh,  blockhead;  from  Sc.  burrio  (1535;,  Fr.  bourrieau,  Lat. 

burrae. 
buthuinn,  straw  for  thatch ;  cf .  sputhainn,  straw  not  threshed, 

but  seedless  (Arg.),  which  seems  from  spoth. 
cabhladh,  ship's  tackle,   Ir.  cdbkluiglie ;   cf.  cabhlach,  and  Eng. 

cable. 
cablaid,  turmoil,  hindrance, 
caig,  conversation,  claque  (Arg.). 
eagar,  whisper,  M.  Ir.  ceckras,  qui  canet,  cairche,  sound  ;  root  karr 

of  Lat.  carmen,  Gr.  *f}pv£,  herald  (Stokes), 
caigeann,  a  winding  pass  through  rocks  and  brushwood,  a  rough 

mountain  pass  (Dial.  =  cadha-e'iginn),  anythiug  ( =  chileigin  V). 
cairbh,  carcase,  also  cairb  (Dial.), 
oalbh,  head,  bald,  so  Irish,  not  calb. 
calpa,  principal  set  to  interest,  Sc.  calpa,  death-duty  payable  to 

the  landlord,  from  N.  kaup,  stipulation,  pay. 
oana,  porpoise,  young  whale,  Ir.  cana  (O'R.),  cdna  (O'B.),  whelp, 

pup,  M.  Ir.  cana  (do.) ;  from  Lat.  canis  1 
caog,  wink  ;  cf.  Norse  kaga,  keek,  Sc.  keek. 
capraid,  drunken  riotousness  (Dial.) ;  from  Lat.  crdpula. 
Caradh,  condition,  usage  ;  from  chirich,  mend. 


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Gaelic  Words  and  Etymologies.  311 

carathaist,  compulsory  labour,  cairiste,  calrbhist,  which  last  sec 
casach,  part  of  the  tackle  attached  to  the  hook ;  from  cas. 
ceadan,  bunch  of  wool,  Ir.  ceadach,  cloth,  coarse  cloth,  W.  cadach, 

clout.     Rhys  regards  W.  as  borrowed  from  Ir.     For  all,  cf. 

cadadh,  caiteas. 
cealair,  a  virago  (Badeuoch). 
ceann,  head  :  hence  ceannag,  a  bottle  of  hay,  ceannaich,  buy 

( = "  heading"  or  reckoning  by  the  head ;  cf.  Dial,  ceann, 

sum  up),  ceannaidh,  head  wind,  ceannas,  vaunting, 
ceannard,  commander,   M.  kinnoort,   Ir.   ceannphort,  commander, 

authority,  head  post  or  city  :  ceann  +port. 
ceireanaich,  fondle,  make  much  of  (Perth)  ;  cf.  ceirein,  plaster, 
cedban,  drizzle,  Ir.  ciabhrdn,  M.  Ir.  ciabor,  mist, 
cedl,  music.     Stokes  now  suggests  alliance  with  Ger.  heulen,  hoot, 

howl,  0.  H.  G.  hiuwilon. 
cha,  cha  'n,  not,  Ir.  nocha  n-,  0.  Ir.  ni  con  aspirating.    The  particle 

no  or  nu  is  no  part  of  this  negative  :  only  nl  and  con,  "  non 

quod,"  con  being  the  same  as  gu'n.     Aspirating  power  of  it  is 

as  yet  unexplained, 
cheana,  already;  from  cen-e,  "  without  this,"  root  in  gun,  without, 

cion,  want. 
Cileag,  a  diminutive,  weakly  person,  (Arg.) 
Clsean,  hamper  (Islay) ;  from  cdis. 
ciseart,  a  light  tweed  (N.  Lochaber). 
cith,  rage,  ardour ;  *ketu-,  cf.  cuthach  :  an  cith,  attuned,  where 

cith  seems  from  Eng.  key,  mood. 
clabar-nasg,  the  clasp  of  wooden  cow  collar  (Arg.). 
clachan,  kirk   or   kirk    town,  lr     clochdn,    monastic   stone-cells 

singly  or  in  gruup ;  also  G.  and  lr.  "  stepping-stones." 
cl&tar,  mire  (Dial.)  ;  from  Sc.  dart. 
cleuraidh,  one  who  neglects  work  (Arran). 
cliob,  excrescence :  root  qlg,  stumpy,  Gr.  ko\o/36s. 
clis,  active ;  still  used,  so  that  the  obsolete  mark  must  be  deleted, 
cneas,  skin ;  Corn,  hues,  body,  W.  cnawd,  human  flesh, 
coimhliong,  race,  also  coi'lige  (Dial), 
coimhirp,  rivalry,  striving  (Arg.) ;  same  root  as  oidhirp. 
Cbineag,  nest  of  wild  bees ;  from  cbinneach,  moss. 
CQinne,  woman  (Heb.) ;  from  N.  kona,  kvenna  (gen.  pi.),  woman, 

Eng.  queen. 
colag,  a  small  steak  or  collop  (Arg.) ;  from  Eng.  collop. 
columan,  a  dove,  Ir.  and  0.  lr.  colum,  W.  colnmen,  cwlwmy  Com. 

colom,  Br.  coulm  ;  from  Lat.  columbus,  columba. 
coma  indifferent ;  from  root  me,  measure  :  "  equal  measure." 


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312  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

combaid,  company  (Dial.). 

comraich,  sanctuary,  Ir»  comruiylie. 

corran,  sickle.     Stokes  suggests  from  kurvo-,  allied  to  Lat.  curvus  ; 

but  this  would  give  corbhan. 
creapall,  a  garter,  creapailld  (Skye). 

cre6th,  wound,  crednadh,  being  paine<l :  *krevo-,  as  in  cro,  blood, 
crilein,  creel,  also  criol  (Arran,  Perth)  ;  see  croidkleag. 
c.rog,  earthen  vessel.     Schrader  derives  these  words  from  0.  Ir. 

crocenn,  skin — a  "  skin"  vessel  being  the  original. 
crogan,  a  gnarled  tree  (Arg.)  ;  cf.  crbcan. 
crdgan,  thornbush  (Arg.). 
croman,  kite,  hawk,  from  crom. 
cuanal,  company,  E.  Tr.  cuan,  host,  *koupn-,  Lit.  kupa,  heap,  Eng. 

heap  (?) 
cuartach,  a  fever  (Arg.) ;  from  ctiairt. 
cuibhreach,  bond  ;  Stokes  (rightly)  now  gives  root  as  reh,  bind, 

Skr.  rapana,  cord,  rope,  rapmi  (do.). 
cuicheineach,  coquetting,  secretly  hobnobbing  (Arg.) :  co-ceann. 
cuid,  part.     Some  have  suggested  comparison  with  Lat.  casta,  rib, 

Eng.  coast. 
cuircinn,  women's  head-dress,   E.  Ir.    cuirce,    bow,    knot ;  which 

makes  the  Sc.  and  Eng.  comparison  doubtful, 
cumhnant,  covenant.     Dial,  plurals  are  cumhlaichean  and  cumh- 

laidean. 
daigeil,  firm  or  well-built  (of  a  man) — Arg.     Cf.  daingean. 
dar,  when  (conj.),  Northern  form  for  'n  uair ;  probably  dyuair  = 

do-uair. 
de&rrsadh,  radiance,  E.  Ir.  derscaigthech,  splendid. 
dnasgadh,  lees  :  *disc-atu-  \  cf.  Lat  faex,  for  ftaix.     Gaelic  root 

diky  whence  diksko,  then  desc-. 
deise,  suit  of  clothes,  so  Tr.  and  M.  Ir.  deise,  a  robe, 
detiach,  weasand  :  peculiar  as  accented  on  iach,  properly  det-lach ; 

Dial,  it-ioch,  epiglottis  (Arg.). 
dil,  deil,  keen,  diligent  (Arg.) ;  formed  from  dealas,  zealous, 
dileigh,    digest,    dileaghadh,    digesting,    Ir.    dileagkadk,   from 

di-leagk,  root  of  leagh,  melt. 
dinnsear,    ginger,  Ir.  gingsear,    M.    Ir.    sinnsar ;   from   M.  Eng. 

ginger,  Lat.  zingiber. 
diomasach,  proud  :  M.  Ir.  diumus,  from  di-od-mess,  root  mess  of 

comus  (Zimmer). 
dochann,  hurt :  M.  Ir.  dochond  debars  M.  Ir.  dochonach,  as  given 

in  the  Diet. 


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Gaelic  Words  and  Etymologies.  313 

doicheall,  churlishness,   Tr.  doicheall,  g.   doichle  ;  E.   Ir.  so-chell 

also  meaning  "kindness,"  soichlech.     Root  is  rather  that  of 

timchioll.     Gaul.  Sucellos,  a  god's  name, 
doimh,  doimheadach,  vexing,  galling  :  *do-ment-,  "  ill-minded." 
d6mhail,   bulky,  M.  Ir.   derg-domla,   pi.,   from  *domail;  root  of 

meall :  *do-fo-mell  ? 
drfcbh,  scatter,  dissolve  (M'A.,  Arg.),  not  drabh  (H.S.D.,  which, 

however,  has  drabhach,  rifted), 
draighlichd,  a  trollop,  draggle-tail  (Arg.)  ;  from  Eng.  draggle-tail  ? 

Cf.  draghlainn  under  draoluinn. 
drann,  dranna,  a  word  (M'A.,  Arg.)  ;  same  as  drannd. 
draoidh,  a  druid.     Thurneysen  means  by  dru,  high,  strong.     See 

truaill. 
drog,  a  sea-swell  at  its  impact  on  a  rock  (Arg.). 
droigbeann,   thorn,  also    droighneach,   (1)  thorn,  (2)  lumber, 

"  entanglement." 
druid,   close,  E.  Ir.   druit,  close,  firm,  trustworthy.     Stokes  now 

refers  *druzdi-  to  the  same  source  as  Eng.  trust. 
dual,  due,  Ir.  diial,  just,  proper,  might  come  from  *duglo-,  root 

dhugh,  fashion,  Gr.  tcvxw,  Got.  dugan,  Eng.  do. 
duan,  song.     Stokes  derives  it  from  dhugh  above  under  dual. 
due,   heap,   ducan    (Perth) :   *dumhacdn,  E.   Ir.  duma,  mound, 

heap.     Root  of  dun. 
durcaisd,  turcais,  pincers ;  from  Sc.  turkas,  from  Fr.  turquoise, 

now  tricoises,  "  Turkish"  or  farrier's  pincers, 
eadradh,  milking  time,  Ir.  eadarthra,  noon,   milking  time  ;  from 

eadar  +  trath. 
ealachainn,   a  peg,  E.  Ir.   alchuing,   elchuing,   dat.   alchaing,  pi. 

alchningi. 
eallach,  cattle  (Arran),  so  Ir*.  :  cf.  O.  Ir.  ellach,  conjunction,  *ati- 

sldgos  (Zimmer). 
eanraich,  soup,  but,  in  most  dialects   "  chicken-soup,"  as  from 

eun  -t-  bruith. 
earghalt,  arable  land;  air  +  geadliail,  which  see. 
earlachadh,  preparing  food  (Suth.) ;  from  old  adj.  erlam,  ready. 

See  ullamh. 
sarraid,  a  tipstaff,  tearraid,  tarraid,  from  Eng.  herald  ? 
easga,   moon :  *encscaio-t    Skr.  pnjas,   light,     Gr.    <t*yyos,   light 

(Strachan). 
eige,  a  web,  eididh  (on  analogy  of  6ididh),  *veggid,  root  ofjigh. 
eileach,  mill-race,  embankment ;  from  ail,  stone  :  "  stone- work." 
€ilitriom,  bier,  M.  Ir.  eilitrum ;  from  Lat.  feretrum  (Stokes). 


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314  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

eirbleach,  slack-jointed  or  crippled  person  ;  cf.  Sc.  hirplock,  lame 

creature,  hirple.     The  possibility  of  air-ablach  (cf.  conablack) 

should  be  kept  in  view. 
eire,  burden  :  *pario-,  root  of  air.     Cf„  Lat.  porto. 
6isd,   listen,  0.  Ir.  etsim  :  an-tus-,  great  silence !     Cf.  Ir.  eist  do 

bhtal  —  hush  !     Root  of  tqsd. 
eisimeil,  obligation,  M.  Ir.  esimol,  an  esimul,  *ex-em-mo-lo~,  root 

em  of  eudail.     Cf.  Lat.  exemplum. 
eithich,  perjured  ;  cf.  Ir.  di-theck,  denial  on  oath,  for-tach,  admis- 
sion on  oath,  di-tongar  i.  sentar,  fortoing,  proved  by  oath  : 

*tong6,  swear.     See  freiteach  for  root, 
euchd,  feat,  E.  Ir.  echt.  slaughter,  from  ic  (Stokes), 
eumhann,    pearl,    0.  Ir.    ne'm,    g.    ne'mann,    pearl,    nlam,    sheen, 

niamda,    bright,    W.    nuryf    vigour,    nwyfiant,    brightness, 

vigour  :  *n"im.     Cf.  neamhnuid. 
fabhairt,  also  ''tempering,"  as  in  Keating.     G.    faghairt  suits 

pronunciation  best  (fao'irt.). 
fadadh,  kiuciling :   E.  Ir.  adsui  tenid,  kindles,  adsuithe,  kindled 

(Meyer). 
faiche,  lobster's  burrow  ;  see  aice. 
faileas,  shadow ;  or  allied  to  ail,  mark  1 
fainear,  consideration,   Ir.  fa  dedra,  remark,  ft  nde&r,  ft  ndeara 

(Munster).     Foley  gives  tabhair  fa  dJ  aire  =  "  observe."     The 

above  may  be  a  fixed  fa  a"  aire  —fa-deara,  with  n  from  the 

plural  an,  their, 
fflir,   dawn  :  *vd$ri-,    Lit.    vasard,    summer,    Skr.    vdsard,    early 

shining,    morning    (adj.),   tat.   ver>   spring,   Gr.    «fa/o,    spring 

(Stokes). 
fairge,  ocean  :  W.  Mdr  Werydd,  the  Atlantic, 
fairmeil,  noisy  ;  allied  to  seirm.  • 

faladair,  really  "man  who  works  the  scythe,"  a  turfer,  from  fal : 

"  scythe"  properly  is  iarunn  faladair. 
fallus,  sweat,  0.  Ir.  alias,  *jaslyroot  jas,  jes,  seethe,  yeast,  W.jas, 

what  pervades,  Br.  goell  (  =  vo-jesl),  leaven  ;  Eng.  yeast  zeal ; 

Gr.  few,  boil, 
famhsgal,  fannsgal,  hurry,  confusion  (Arg.). 
faochainu,  entreat  earnestly,  strive,  inf.  faochnadh  (M'A.,  Arg.). 
faodhail,  ford  ;  from  N.  vaiSill,  a  shallow,  a  place  where  straits 

can  be  crossed,  Shet.  vaadle,  Eng.  wade. 
faoisg,  unhusk  :  0.  Ir.  desc,  concha,  aesc,  classendix,  Lat.  aesculus  T 

(Stokes). 
faomadh,  fainting  from  closeness  or  excitemeut,  falling  (Lewis)  ; 

from  aomadh. 


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Gaelic  Words  and  Etymologies.  315 

far,  far  an  (am),  where,  Ir.  mar  a  n-,  where ;  from  mar  and  rel., 
not  from/o*\ 

fardal,  delay,  M.  Tr.  fordall,  staying,  E.  Ir.  fordul. 

farfonadh,  warning  ;  see  root  in  fathunn  :  *vorxvon. 

farraid,  ask,  faghairt  (Perth),  which  suggests  fo-gar-t,  root  g«ry 
speak. 

fathamas,  warning,  also  fothamas :  *fo-tod-mess-,  root  of  measy 
tomhas,  <fec. 

fathamas,  occasion  :  *fo  tad-mess-,  see  amas. 

fathunn,  ne*vs,  fabhunn  (Dial.)  :  *vo-svo?i,  root  sven,  sound  (see 
tabhann),  or  root  bon,  ban,  Eng.  bail,  0.  Ir.  atboind,  pro- 
claims ? 

feachd,  time  :  Osthoff  regards  it  as  allied  to  Lat.  vices  ;  see  fiach. 

fealan,  hives,  M.  Ir.filUn,  glandular  disease,  fiolun  saith,  anthrax, 
malignant  struma,  all  which  Stokes  takes  from  L.  Lat.  fello, 
strum  ae. 

feannag,  lazy  bed  ;  older  fennoc,  trench  ;  from  feann,  flay. 

fearsaid,  a  spindle,  not  fear said. 

fearsaideag,  thrift  or  sea  gilly-flower ;  from  obs.  fear  sad,  estuary, 
sand-bank,  passage  across  at  ebb-tide,  whence  place-name 
Fersit,  and  in  Ireland  Belfast ;  for  root  see  feart. 

ftile,  charm,  E.  Ir.  die,  hele,  mo  fhile.  Stokes  regards  Zimmer's 
derivation  from  N.  a  failure,  and  compares  W.  wylo,  wail, 
weep,  as  Ir.  amor,  music  =  W.  afar,  grief,  and  G.  ceo/ =  Ger. 
heulen,  howl. 

ffiile,  kilt,  E.  Ir.,  0.  Ir  fial,  velum. 

feobharan,  pith,  puff  (feo'ran)— Dial. 

fiach,  debt,  .value  :  *veico-,  Lat.  vices,  change,  Ger.  wechsel, 
exchange,  Skr.  vishti,  changing,  in  turn  (Osthoff).  This  is 
the  right  derivation. 

fidean,  a  green  islet  or  spit  uncovered  at  high  tide,  web  of  sea- 
clam  (Isles)  ;  from  N.  fit,  webbed  foot  of  waterfowl,  meadow 
land  on  the  banks  of  firths  or  rivers,  fitja,  to  web,  Eng.  fit. 

filidh,  poet :  add  Old  Germanic  Veleda,  a  prophetess  (Tacitus). 

flonnsgeal,  romance,  Ir.  finnsgeul :  *ande-sqetlon-. 

fitheach,  raven  :  this  is  a  dissylable,  *vivo-ko-,  the  phonetics  being 
those  of  biadh.  Stokes  gives  *veijako-s  or  *veivako-s.  It  is 
still  distantly  allied  to  Ger.  weihe. 

fiughair,  expectation,  E.  Ir.  fiugrad,  praedicere  ;  from  Lat.  figura. 
Ir.  has  fioghair,  figure,  fashion,  sign. 

foichlean,  sprout,  faichean  (Arg.). 

fonn,  a  tune,  M.  Ir.  adbonn,  a  strain. 

fore,  push,  pitch  with  a  fork  ;  from /ore.  fork. 


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316  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

f dtus,  a  flaw  ;  from  Sc.  jaut,  as  in  fabhd. 

frabhas,  refuse,  small  potatoes  (Arg.). 

fraochan,  toe-bit  of  shoe  ;  "heather-protector,"  from  fraoch  ? 

freothainn,  bent-grass  (Arg.). 

frioghan,  pig's  bristle,  M.  Ir.  frighan  i.  guairech  muc. 

frith,  frioth,  small,  which  M'A.  says  antecedes  the  noun,  is  the 

prep,  frith  or  ri. 
fuidheall,    remainder,    0.  Ir.  fuidell,  W.  gweddill,  *vodilo-,  dil, 

allied  to  Eng.  deal,  dole,  Ger.  teil  (St.  with  query), 
fuilear,  cha  'n  fhuilear,  must ;  for  furail,  0.  Ir.  fordil,  excessive 

injunction,  infliction,  same  root  as  earail. 
fulbh,  gloom  (Arg.) ;  see  suilbh. 
futhar,  the  dog-days  ;  from  Sc.  fure-da.y&. 
g&bairt,   a  transport  vessel  (Heb.)  ;  from  Sc.  gabert,  a  lighter, 

from  Fr.  gabarre,  storeship,  lighter. 
gabhann,  gossip  (Perth). 
g&irdeachas,    rejoicing.     K.    Meyer  regards  this   as   from  older 

*gartiugudi  shortening  or  whiling  time,   from  goirid,  E,  Ir. 

urgartiugud,   while  time,  amuse;  with  a   leaning   on   gair, 

laugh.     Cf.  W.  difyru,  amuse,  divert,  from  byr,  short, 
giirdean,  arm  ;  from  Sc.  gardy,  arm,  gardis,  yards,  same  as  yard. 
galad,  good  girl,  brave  girl,  fern,  for  laochan,  used  in  encouraging 

address  :  a  ghalad.     Root  is  gal  (*galnat),  brave. 
gaorr,  faeces :  in  Arg.  pronounced  with   Northern  ao  sound  ;  in 

North,  pronounced  with  ao  broad  as  in  Arg. 
gisaid,  fray  (Dial.). 
geadhail,  a  ploughed  field,  park  (Arg.,  M'A.);  hence  earghalt, 

arable  land  :  same  root  as  gead,  viz.  ged,  hold,  Eng.  get. 
geamhda,  thick,  short  block ;  cf.  Ir.  giobhta,  giota,  a  piece. 
gearraidh,  the  pasture-land  between  the  shore-land  and  the  moor- 
land (Heb.) ;  from  N.  gerfti,  fenced  field,  garth, 
geinn,  wedge,  N.  gand,  gann,  a  peg,  stick,  Lat.  offendo,  *fendo, 

Eng.  offend  (Stokes  and  Liden). 
glaiseach,  foam  (M'A.),  glais-sheile,  water-brash,  from  obs.  glais, 

stream,  E.  Ir.  glaiss,  same  root  as  glas. 
gldic,  having  hanging  cheeks,  as  in  hens. 

gldir,  speech,  Ir.  gldr,  E.  Ir.  glorach,  noisy  ;  same  as  glbir,  glory, 
gnjomh,  deed :  the  root  is  gn£,  do,  from  gen,  beget,  as  in  gin. 

Hence  ddan,  ni,  rinn. 
gog,  tossing  of  the  head,  godadh  (Arg.). 
gonan,  grass  roots ;  cf.  cona. 
greod,  a  crowd  (Arg.)  ;  from  Eng.  crowd. 
greusaich,  shoemaker,  Ir.  grda&aidhe. 


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Gaelic  Words  and  Etymologies.  317 

gudaleum,  a  bound,  wild  leap  (Arg.).  • 

guraiceach,  unfeathered  bird,  lump  (Arg.),  from  gur. 

gurracag,  a  blot  (Arg.). 

gurrach,  "  hunkering ;"  cf.  Sc.  ciirr,  to  "  hunker,"  currie,  a  stool, 
Eng.  cower.  It  also  means  a  "fledgling"  (Arg.).  The  Perth- 
shire curraidh,  hunkering,  is  from  Scotch. 

iallach,  jaunty,  lithe  ;  cf.  uallach. 

impis,  imis,  imminence,  an  impis,  about  to,  almost,  M.  Ir.  imese 
catha,  imminence  of  battle,  root  ved  of  tbiseach  (Stokes). 

inne,  gutter,  sewer,  kennel  (M'A.). 

iob,  raw  cake ;  also  uibe,  which  see. 

ioba,  pi.  iobannan,  tricks,*  incantations  (Arg.) ;  see  ubag. 

iochd,  clemency,  M.  Ir.  icht,  protection  :  *peklus,  root  peJc,  pah, 
Lat.  pectus,  breast,  paciscor,  paction  ;  allied  to  uchd. 

iolla,  view,  glance  ;  gabh  iolla  ris,  just  look  at  it ;  cf.  ealla. 

ioraltan,  harmless  tricks  :  *air  +  alt. 

iorbhail,  infection,  taint  *  air  +  bail,  "on-issue." 

isneach,  rifle  :  Meyer  suggests  from  isean,  young  of  birds,  com- 
paring "fowling-piece" 

iuchair,  key  :  root  stem  pecu-,  fastening,  whence  Lat.  pecu,  cattle, 
Eng.  fee. 

ladhar,  hoof  :  *plaftro-n,  root  pla,  extend. 

l&irig,  a  pass,  0.  Ir.  loarcc,  furca.     Often  in  place-names. 

laimhrig,  lamraig,  landing  place ;  from  N.  hlaft-hamarr,  pier  or 
loading  rock,  Shet.  Laamar. 

langaiseachadh,  pulling  a  boat  along  by  a  rope  from  the  bank. 

lann,  also  "a  scale,  scale  of  a  fish,  disc"  (Arg.,  M'A.). 

laoir,  drub  lustily  (M'A.),  laoireadh,  rolling  in  the  dust  (H.S.D.) 
Cf.  leir. 

leis,  thigh,  0.  Ir.  less :  *lexa,  root  leh ;  Eng.  leg,  Gr.  Aa£,  kicking 
(St.). 

leagarra,  self-satisfied,  smug  (Arg.). 

ledb,  a  shred ;  cf.  Norse  leppr,  a  rag  (Craigie). 

leom,  conceit,  ledmais,  dilly-dallying ;  cf.  Ir.  leoghaim,  I  flatter^ 
leom,  prudery. 

ledmann,  moth,  Ir.  leomhan,  Mamhann,  E.  Ir.  legam. 

ledmhann,  lion,  Ir.  leomhan,  0.  Ir.  leornan ;  from  Lat.  leo,  leonem. 

ledn,  wound,  Ir.  lednaim,  E.  Ir.  Unaim,  wound,  Un,  hurt ;  this. 
Strachan  refers  to  *lakno-,  root  lak,  tear,  as  in  Lat.  lacero, 
lacerate,  Gr.  Aa/as,  a  rent.  But  cf.  leadradh,  E.  Ir.  leod, 
cutting,  killing,  *ledu,  root  led,  ledh,  fell,  Lat.  labi,  Eng. 
lapse. 

lian,  cia  lian,  how  many ;  same  as  linn,  0.  Ir.  Un. 


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318  Gaelic  Society  of  I /wetness. 

liatrus,  blue-mould,  liathlas  :  Hath  +  ? 

liod,  lid,  a  syllable,  lisp,  lideach,  liotach,-  lisping,  Ir.  liotadh,  a 

lisp  (Fol.);  cf.  Gr.  Amy,  prayer,  Lat.  lito,  placate, 
liiith,  a  lythe  ;  from  the  Sc. 
loban,  16}>an,  peat  creel ;  from  N.  laupr,  basket,  timber  frame  of 

a  building,  Shet.  loopie,  Ag.  S.  leap. 
logais,  unwieldy  person,  loose  slipper  or  old  shoe  (Arg.)  :  cf.  Sc. 

loggs. 
loinil,  comeliness,  M.  Ir.  lainn,  bright  ;  from  plend,  Lat.  splendeo, 

Eng.  splendid.     Hence  loinnear,  bright.     So  Stokes. 
longadh,  a  diet,  so  Ir.,  E.  Ir.  longad,  eating  ;  a  side  form  of  slug, 

which  see  for  root, 
lougphort,  harbour,  camp,  palace,  Ir.  longphort  (do.)  ;  from  long  + 

port.     Hence    luchairt,    palace  ;  longart,   lunkart   in   place- 
names, 
loth,  marsh  (Sutherland),  0.  Ir.  loth,  mud  ;  sea  further  under  Ion. 
luchairt,  palace  ;  see  longphort  above, 
lugh,  a  joint  (M'A.),  luighean,  a  tendon,  ankle,  Ir.  ItUhach,  joints, 

luigMan.  a  nave,  M.  Ir.  Hithech,  sinew, 
luir,  torture,  drub  (M'A.) ;  see  laoir. 
lum,  part  of  the  oar  between  the  handle  and  blade ;    from   N. 

hlumr,  handle  of  an  oar. 
luma-l&n,  choke-full,  also  loxn-l&n;  from  lorn  +  Ian. 
machlag,  matrix,  M.  Ir.  macloc. 
mag,  a  paw,  E.  Ir.  mdc, :  *mankd,  root  man,  hand,  Lat  manus, 

Gr.  fioLpyj,  Norse  mund,  hand.     Sc.  maig  is  from  Gaelic, 
maith,  forgive,  W.  maddeu.     Rhys  regards  the  W.  as  borrowed 

from  Ir.  ;  if  so,  G.  is  same  as  maith,  good. 
mfcn,  a  mole  on  the  skin,  arm-pit  ulcer ;  side  form  of  mam. 
m&rach,  a  big,  ungainly  woman  (Arg.)  ;  from  mdr,  with  neuter 

termination  ach. 
mirrach,  enchanted  castle  which  kept  one  spell-bound,  labyrinth, 

thicket  to  catch  cattle  (M'A.).    Root  mar,  mer,  deceive,  as  in 

mear,  broth. 
meall,  lump,  Br.  mell,  joirt,  knot,  knuckle  :  *mlso- ;  cf.  Gr.  /xeAos, 

limb,  part, 
meidh,  balance,  W.  midd,  centre  of  motion.     Hence  meidhis,  a 

measure;  instalment  (Arg.,  M'A.). 
meilcheart,  chilblain  (Arg.) ;  root  in  meilich. 
m&n,  disposition,  Ir.,  M.  Ir.  mein,  mind :  Eng.  mean,  Ger.  meinen. 

(Stokes). 
meuchd,  mixture  (Dial.)  :  *meik-tu,  root  meik,  mik,  as  in  measg. 
miadh,  respect ;  allied  to  Eng.  meed,  Gr.  fiurdos,  pay,  Lat.  miles, 

soldier,     Cf.  Gr.  rip;,  fame,  price. 


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Gaelic  Words  and  Etymologies.  319 

minis,  degree,  portion  (M'A.),  root  of  union. 

miobhadh,  ill-usage,  as  by  weather ;  from  mi-bhctidk. 

muinne,  stomach  (Arg.).     Cf.  mionach. 

muinnteachd,  disposition  (Dial.) ;  for  root  see  muinighin,  and  cf. 

0.  Ir.  muiniur,  1  think, 
mule,  a  shapeless  lump,  a  lump, 
murrach,  rich,  able,  Ir.   murrtha,  M.  Ir.  muire,  muiredach,  lord, 

Murdoch  ;  Ag.  S.  maere,  clarus,  Norse  maerr,  famous  (Stokes), 

same  root  as  mdr. 
mtisuinn,  confusion,  Ir.  miiisiun    codlata,  hazy  state  preceding 

sleep.     From  Eng.  motion  ? 
na,  that  which;  for  an  a,  0.  Ir.  rel.  an  (really  neut.  of  art.)  and 

G.  rel.  a,  which  see.     Descent  from  ni  or  ni,  without  any 

relative,  is  favoured  by  Book  of  Deer,  as  do  ni  thissad,  of 

what  would  come.     Possibly  from  both  sources, 
neasg,  boil ;  Slokes  regards  E.  Ir.  ness,  wound,  as  from  *nekso-, 

root  neg. 
netinagan,  a  stye  in  the  eye  (Arg.)  ;  cf.  leamhnad. 
Oil,   offence,  Ir.   is  oth   Horn,   I   regret ;   really  oik  before  prep. 

pronouns  with  le  :  oth  a  short  form  of  uath. 
oisinn,  corner,  Ir.   isinn,  the  temple,  fdn  na  hotsean,  along  the 

temple,  E.  Ir.  na-li-usine,  the  temples, 
osag,  a  breeze  :  *utsd,  root  ut9  vet,  ve,  blow,  as  in  onfhadh. 
6trach,  dunghill ;  add  Ir.  othrach,  dung,  *putr-. 
padhadh,  thirst,  M.  Ir.  paadh  is  explained  by  Stokes  as  *spa8dtu-, 

root  spas  or  spes,  Lat.  tpiro,  breathe,  W.  fiun,  breath,  from 

*sposnd.     For  phonetics  see  piuthar. 
padhal,    ewer ;    from    Eng.  pail  ;   cf.    adkal,  paidhir,    staighir, 

faidhw,  ratkad. 
piocach,  coal-fish,  saith  (Arg.,  M*A.) ;  cf.  Eng.  pike. 
plam,  anything  curdled ;  Arg.  has  bainne  plumaichte,  curdled  or 

soured  milk, 
pleigh,  fight,  Ir.  pUidh,  debate  ;  all  from  M.  Eng.  pleie}  game, 

play. 
plionas,  a  hypocritical  smile  (Arg.). 
ponach,  lad,  in  Arg.  boinnean,  from  boinne. 
prac,  a  tithe,  pracadair,  tithe  collector ;  from  Sc.  proeutor,  Eng. 

proctor,  procurator. 
prat,  a  trick,  pratail,  pranky  ;  see  protaig. 
proitseach,  boy ;  cf.  brod  balaich,  brodan,  boy,  from  brod.    The 

termination  is  -seach,  really  a  fern.  oue.     In  Arg.  propanach, 

a  boy,  from  prop,  also  geamht. 
punntainn,  benumbment;  cf.  Eng.  swoon. 


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320  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

rag,  stiff :  *razgo-,  root  reg,  rag,   Lat.  rigeo,  rigid,  Eng.  rack.  N. 

ra&/<r,  straight,  Lit,  rra/w,  knit. 
r&ith,  a  threatening. 

ramair,  a  blockhead,  a  romp  ;  cf.  ramalair. 
raoic,  roar,  M'A.  raibheic,  pronounced  raoi'c  :  *roJrheuc. 
raoir,  last  night :  *prei-ri,  root  as  in  riamh  (Asc,  St.).     This  is 

the  right  derivation. 
rfcsdail,  sound  of  frying  meat ;  cf.  rdsd. 
rathad,  road  :  from  M.  Eng.  roade,  road,  Ag.  S.  rdd. 
r6,  moon  *revi,  Skr.  ravi,  sun. 
reachd,  a  loud  sob,  keen  sorrow,  Tr.  rachd  (also  G.  rachd),  E.  Ir. 

recht;  cf.  Eng.  reck. 
reusbaid,  a  beggar's  brat  (Arran),  a  rascal. 
riabhag,  a  lark,  "grey  one,"  from  riabhach. 
righ,  stretch  (on  a  dead  bed),  Ir.  righim,  stretch,  reach,  E.  Ir. 

rigim,  Lat.  rego,  etc.,  as  under  righinn. 
roid,  bog  myrtle,  Ir.  rideog,  M.  Ir.  raidleog,  darnel :  *raddi-.     Cf. 

ras. 
r6mhau,  wild  talk,  raving,  rigmarole  (Dial.) ;  from  Eng.  row  ? 
ros,  seed,  Got.  frasts,  for  fra-sst -s,  from  pro-sto-  (Stokes), 
rud,  thing,  Dial,  raod  (Arg.,  Arran),  rudach,  hospitable, 
rusal,  ru«ladh,  turn  over  things,  risleadh,  rustle,  move  things 

about  (Perth) ;  from  Eng.  rustle, 
sac,  a  load,  burden,  Ir.  sacadk,  pressing  into  a  sack  or  bag,  Low 

Lat.  saccare  (do.) ;  from  Fr.  sac,  pillage,  the  same  as  Eng. 

sack,  plunder,  all  borrowed  from  saccm,  a  sack  or  bag. 
saidh,  8aidhean,  the  fish  saith  ;  from  N.  sei&r,  the  gadus  virens, 

now  sei. 
sath,  saith,  bad  (Dial,  maith  na  saith,  math  na  sath),  M.  Ir.  sath 

(Lecan  Glossary),  saith,  0.   Ir.  saich  (cid  saich  no  maith) : 

*8aki-s,  root  svak,  svag,  weak,  Ger.  schwach. 
sealbhan,  the  throat,  throttle  :  *svel-vo-,  Eng.  swallow  (*svel-ko-)  ? 
seaman,  rivetted  mail,  W.  and  M.  W.  hemin,  rivet. 
seamarlan,  chamberlain,  M.  Ir.  seomuirlin ;  from  the  Eng. 
seileann,  sheep-louse,  tick. 
seillean,  a  bee,    teillean  (Perth),  tilleag  (Suth.),   W.   chwil, 

beetle  ;  root  svel,  turn,  as  in  seal  ? 
seirean,  a  shank,  leg,  spindle-shanked  person  ;  for  connections  see 

speir. 
aged,  g.  sgiach,  haze,  dimness  (Heb.) ;  see  ced. 
Sgilbheag,  a  chip  of  slate   (Arg.) ;  from  Sc.   skelve,  a  thin  slice, 

Eng.  shelf. 
Sgilig,  shelled  grain  (Dial.),  from  Norse,  whence  Sc.  shillin,  which 

see  under  sgiL 


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Gaelic  Words  and  Etymologies.  321 

Sgimilear,  intruder ;  from  Sc.  skemmel.     Cf.  sgiomalair. 

Sgionabhagan,  "  smithereens"  (Arg.). 

Sgliobhag,  a  slap  (Dial.) ;  cf.  Sc.  sclaff,  sclaffert. 

8gr&l,    a   host,  a    large  number   of   minute   things    (Heb.)  ;  cf. 

sgriothail. 
sgreunach,  boisterous  (of  weather) — Arg. 
Sgriach,  a  score,  scratch  (Dial.)  ;  cf.  strioch. 
Sgr6bail,  a  bird's  crop,  Ir.  scrobdn ;  cf.  Eng.  crop,  Ger.  kropf. 
sguainseach,   hussy,   hoyden  (Arg.) ;  possibly  from   Sc.   quean  : 

*s-quean-seach  ;  cf.  siursach. 
siab,  sweep,   lr.  siobadh,  blowing  into  drifts.     Root  sveib,   Eng. 

sweep. 
siaban,  sea-spray,  sand-drift ;  from  above. 

sianan,  breac-shianain,  freckles  ;  from  sian,  foxglove  (Dr  Gillies), 
siaranachadh,  languishing,  siarachd,  melancholy  (Dial.) ;  from 

siar,  "  going  backwards  V 
Sid,  weather,  also  tid,  which  suggests  borrowing  from  N.  ti&,  tide, 

time,  Eng.  tide.. 
sioll,  a  turn,  Ir.  siolla,  a  whiff,  glint,  syllable ;  root  of  seal. 
sionn,  phosphorescent,  solus  sionn,  phosphorus,  also  teine-sionn- 

achain.     For  roct  see  next, 
sionnach,  valve  of  bellows,  pipe-reed,  piob-shionnaich,  Irish  bag- 
pipe.      From   root    spend,    swing,   play,    Skr.    spand,    move 

quickly,    Gr.    o-favSovr),     sling,    Lat.    pendeo,    hang,    Eng. 

pendulum. 
si  op,  despise,  turn  tail  on  (Dial.) ;  see  seap. 
siota,  a  blackguard,  a  pet ;  from  Sc.  shit. 
sithionn,  venison  ;  add  M.  Ir.  sideng,  deer, 
slabhcar,  not  slaucar,  as  in  Diet.,  slouching  fellow,  from  Norse. 
sl6isneadh,  backsliding  (Heb.) :  *  shifts-,  root  of  slaod  and  Eng. 

slide  ? 
smal,  blemish :  add  Eng.  mole. 
smeorach,  thrush,   Ir.   bmaolach.     Stokes  derives   W.   uiwyalch, 

blackbird,  from  *meisalko-,  Ger.  meise,  Eng.  tit-mouse. 
ameuraich,  grope  ;  from  meur. 
smuilc,    glumness,   dejection ;  M.  Ir.   smuilcin,   a   small   snout : 

"  snoutyness." 
snichdean,  a  stitch  of  clothing  (Arg.). 
socair,  ease ;  opposite  is  deacair,  0.  Ir.  deccair :  *di-acair,  *so- 

acair,  from  *acar,  convenience,  root  cor,   place,  as  in  cuir. 

Hence  acarach. 
sodal,  pride,  according  to  Stokes  *sput-tlo-,  W.  ffothyll,  pustula 

Lat.  pustula,  Skr.  phutkar,  puff  (Stokes). 

21 


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322  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

soighneas,  pleasure,  Ir.  soighneas  :  so-gne-t  root  gen. 

soimeach,  easy  circumstanced,   seems  to  combine  0.    Ir.  somme, 

dives,    and   0.   Ir.    soinmech,   lucky,    good,    Ir.    soinmheach, 

fortunate,  happy.     The  former  Stokes  derives  from  so4mbi-s, 

for  which  see  iomadh  ;  the  later  is  so-nem-ech,  root  nem,  under 

neamh.  M.  Tr.  somenmnach,  good-spirited,  is  from  meamna. 
soirbh,  gentle,  soirbheas,  success,  wind,  flatulence  (so  in  Arg.). 
Somalia,  bulky,  placid  ;  from  M.  Ir.  soma,  abundance,  with  adj. 

terminations  -ail  and  ta.     See  soimeach  further. 
SOna,  happy:  *so-gnd-vo-s,  "well-doing;"  root  gna  of  gniomh. 
sorchan,  foot-stool,  support,  light-stand,  peer  man ;  from  sorcha. 
speach,    wasp,   counspeach,    "  dog-wasp,'    is  referred   by   Stokes 

(Diet.  302)  to  *spe/cd,  Gr.  <r<j>y^  ;  for  phonetics  cf.  padhadh, 

piuthar,  also  speir  and  speal. 
speach,  stitch  in  side,  blow,  Ir.  speach,  a  kick. 
Speal,  scythe,  Ir.  speal,  M.  Ir.  spel :  *speld,  Gr.  xf/akls,  shears,  root 

spal,  clip,  pull,  further  Eug.  psalm  (so  Stokes). 
speil,  herd,  Ir.  tpeil :  *speli-,  allied  to  Lat.  spolium  (Stokes). 
spoil,    a  quarter,  spold,  joint  of   meat ;  from   Sc.  ?paul,   limb, 

spald,  shoulder,  from  old  Fr.  espaule,  espalle,  L.  Lat.  spatula, 

shoulder,  whence  Eng.  epaulet     Ir.  spolla  is  also  hence. 
sreamadh,  curbing  or  checking  by  the  nose. 
stabhaic,  wry  neck,  pronounced  in  Arg.  staofc,  staghaic. 
st&irn,  a  particle,  small  quantity  (Perth) ;  from  Sc.  starn,  particle, 

grain,  star,  from  stfxr. 
stalladh,    dashing    against,     thumping    (M'A.),    stallachdach, 

stupidly  deaf,  careless  (Arg.). 
stamhnaich,  reduce  to   order,    subject,  break  in,  drub   (M'A.), 

Stannadh,  subject  (Reb.);  from  N.  stafr,  a  stick,  stafa  fyrir, 

rule,  fyrir  stafni,  aim  at,  stafn,  stem  1 
stangarra,  the  fish  stickleback ;  from  stang,  sting. 
St6idh  (not  st6igh),  foundation  ;  froui  Norse  staebi,  staefra,  estab- 
lish, Ork.  steeth,  foundation,  steethe,  to  found, 
stidean,  stididh,  a  cat,  also  tididh,  from  Sc.  cheet,  cheety,  puss, 

cat,  Eng.  chit,  cub,  youngster  ;  from  cat,  like  kitten. 
stiorc,  stretch  (at  death,  Arg.)  ;  from  Eog.  stark  1 
stoth,  hot  stream,  vapour  ;  see  toth. 
sttiC,  jutting  hill ;  from  Teutonic — N.  stuka,  wing  of  a  building, 

Eng.  stook,  etc. 
stuthaig,  starch  ;  fiom  Sc.  stiffing,  starch,  Eng.  stiff.     Perthshire 

hasstifinn. 
Subh,  subh,  raspberry,  subh,  fruit  generally  (Arg.).     Root  sug 

as  in  sugh. 


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Gaelic  Words  and  Etymologies.  323 

suilbh,  cheer,  hospitality,  geniality  :  *su-lubi-,  root  lubh,   please, 

love,   Lat.  libet,  Eug.   love.     It  influences  the   meaning   of 

suilbhir,  originally  Xl  eloquent." 
tabaid,  fight,  brawl ;  see  sabaid.     Cf.  Sc.  debate. 
tai^hlich,  chattels  (Heb.) ;  a  side  form  of  teaghlach.    . 
■tiilla,  apprentice  fee-,   premium  (M'A.,  who   has  tiilleabh) ;  see 

tail. 
t&ilb,  tilll3a)]i  (M'A..),  canse^u3iic3,  air  tillle,  on  account  of; 

cf.  M   Ir.   a  hiithle,  after,  as  a  haitkle  sin,  thereafter,  0  G. 

as  d  dihle,  thereafter  (B.  of  Deer),  aithle,  remnant, 
fcais^eal,  journey  :  *to-asdel,  *ad-sod-,  root  sod,  as  in  astar. 
tairleas,  turlas,  cupboard  or  aumrie  (Perth), 
t&naiste,  tanist ;  rather  root  at  of  ath-,  "  re." 
taom,  empty ;  root  sern,  from  se,  Lit.  semiu,  draw  (as  water),  Lat. 

simpulum,  ladle  (Stokes). 
tathaich,    visit  ;   Stokes  prefers   root    at,   go,    discussed   under 

tanaiste. 
t&,  t&a,  insipid,  slightly  fermented  ;  from  root  of  teas  ;  cf.  Upid. 
t&achd,  silly  boasting  (Arg.). 
teamhall,   slight  swoon    or    stun,   Ir.   teimheal,  darkness,  0.  Ir. 

temel  (do.),   Skr'.   tdmas,    Lit.    tamsa,   Lat.  tenebrae,    temere, 

rashly, 
teanacadh,  deliverance,  succour,  teanacas,  healing  :  Hind-ioc,  from 

toe,  heal, 
thall,  over,  Ir.,  0.  Ir.,  thall,  tall :  *t-all,  0.  Ir.  ol,  quam,  iudoll, 

altarach,  ultra,  al,  ultra;  root  ol,   el,  ol,   Lat.  Me  {  —  oile), 

alius.     Also  eile,  other,  which  see. 
theagamh,  mayhap  ;    Meyer  takes  0.  Ir.  ecmaing  from  ad-com- 

bangim,  bang  root  of  buain.     It  has  also  been  referred  to  root 

mang,  mag,  Eng.  may,  etc. 
tioba,  a  heap  (Arg.) ;  from  Eng.  lieap  or  G.  iob  ? 
tionnail,  likeness  ;  *t-ionnail,  from  tonnan,  like. 
tiorail,  cosy ;  add  W.  tirion,  pleasant,  a  familiar  cbject. 
tiot,  moment.;  cf.  Ir.  giota,  something  small,  jot,  appendage,  from 

Lat.  iota,  whence  Eng.  jot.     Gaelic  is  t-iot. 
tligheachd,  liquid,  spume  (Heb.)  :  t-lighe? 
t6bairt,  flux,  diarrhoea  spasms  :  to-food-ber-t,  root  ber  of  heir 
tdch,  bad  smell ;  add  t6char  or  tachar,  dense  volume  of  smoke 

(Arg.)  ;  root  stou,  as  in  toth, 
toigh,  agreeable  ;  Stokes  derives  this  from  *togi-s,  root  tag,  take, 

Lat.  tango,  etc. 
toill,  deserve,   Ir.,  0.  Ir.   tuillim,  atroilli,  asroilL,  meruit,  later 

do-sli,  meruit,  from  sli  (Thur.,  Strachan), 


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324  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

tomult,  bulk  ;  see  somalta. 

tosg,  peat-cutter ;  cf.  Shet.  tushker,  from  N.  torfsheri,  turf-cutter  i 

treachladh  (1)  digging,  for  which  see  treachail;  (2),  fatiguing,  for 

which  cf.  Sc.  trachle. 
trealais,  the  spleen  (M'F.). 
treall,  treallan,  a  short  space  or  time,  Ir.  treall,  M.  Ir.  trell,  root 

ter,  through,  Eng.  thrill,  pierce. 
treisg,  treisginn,  weaver's   paste,    trash   (M'A.,    Arg.) ;  cf.  Sc. 

dressing. 
trid,  rag,  clout,  stitch, 
trusdar,  filthy  fellow  ;  cf.  Ir.,  E.  Ir.  trist,  curse,  profligacy,  L.  Lat. 

tristus,  improbus. 
tuairmeis,  hit  on,  discover  :  *do-fo-air-mess ;  see  eirmis. 
tuaitheal,  wrong,  Ir.  tuaithbhil,  E.  Ir.  tuatkbil ;  tuath  and  sel,  as 

explained. 
tualaig,  loose,  have  flux,  tuanlaig  (n  elided)  in  Perthshire.     From 

leig. 
tuba  is  t,  mischance,  Ir.  tubaiste,  Aran  tiompaiste. 
tunnachadh,  beating,  dashing;  see  tuimhseadh. 
turag,  a  trifling  illness  (as  of  a  child) — Arg. 
turcais,  pincers  ;  see  durcaisd. 
uabairt,  expulsion ;  not  uad-bert.  there  being  no  uad  really ;  from 

*od-bert,  prefixed  by  ua  ? 
uaigh,  grave,  E.  Ir.  uag,  *augd,  allied  to  Got.  augc,  eye,  Eng.  eye. 

See  for  force  dearc.     So  Stokes,  and  rightly, 
uamhag,  sheep-louse, 
ubairt,   rummaging    among   heavy   articles,   bustle   (Dial.) ;  see 

iibraid. 
uchd,  breast.     St.  now  gives  poktus,  allied  to  pectus.     See  iochd. 
umlagh,  a  fine  (Arg.) ;    from  Sc.  unlaw,  unlach,  a  fine,  trans- 
gression, from  un-law. 
unradh,  adversity  (Campbell's  Tales,  II.  Mac-a  rusgaich) ;  a  form 

of  an-rath  ? 
urcag,  thole  pin  (N.  Lochaber).     Cf .  arcan,  a  cork.  • 
urlaigh,  turn  (disgustfully) — Arg. 
utag,  strife,  titag  (Arg.). 
tltag,  a  knuckle  ;  better  utan. 

Personal  Names. 

Allan,  G.  Ailean,  E.  Ir.  AiUne,  Adamnan's  Ailenus,  from  alt 
rock  1  The  Norman  Alan,  whence  Scotch  Allan  mostly,  is 
0.  Br.  Alan,  Alamnus,  Nennius  Alanus,  from  Alemannus,  the 
(German  tribe  name — "All  Men."  Cf  Norman,  Frank, 
Dugall,  Fingall. 

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Gaelic  Words  and  Etymologies.  325 

Charles,  G.  Te&rlach,  M.  Ir.  Toirrdhealbhach  (Maclean  Gene- 
alogy), Englished  as  Tirlagh  and  Turlough,  E.  Ir.  Toirdelbach, 
Latinised  and  explained  as  Turri-formis,  "  Tower-shaped," 
but  the  toir  in  Gaelic  took  the  phonetics  of  the  prefix  tair, 
super,  and  hence  the  modern  G.  form. 

Colin,  G.  Cailean  Cf.  Goiledn,  "  whelp,"  and  personal  name  ; 
the  G.  is  a  dialectic  form  of  old  coiledn,  cuilean,  whelp. 

Finlay,  G  Fionnlagh  ;  this  is  "  Fair  hero" — Fionn-laoch.  It 
is  a  popular  (I Oth  and  11th  century)  rendering  of  Finning, 
"  Fair  attractive  one,"  the  older  name. 

John,  G.  Iain,  older  Eoin,  in  compounds  Seathain,  as  Mac-Gille- 
SheatJiainn,  now  M'llleathailin. 

Kennedy,  G.  Ceanaideach,  Ceanadaidh,  E.  Ir.  Gennetich, 
means  "Ugly  head,"  from  ceann  and  titigh.  Called  also 
M'Ualraig  from  Walrick  Kennedy  (16th  century),  who  first 
settled  in  Lochaber  :  Walrick  may  be  G.  UalghaPJJ  confused 
with  Teutonic  Ulrick,  older  U^dalrich,  "rich  patrimonially." 

Lamond,  :  hence  APClymont,  D.  of  L.  V'Glymont,  Glyne  lymyn. 

Menzies  ;  local  G.  is  MMnn,  Meinnearach. 

Murdoch  ;  for  Mwredach  ;  see  murrach  above. 

Macbeth,  Northern  G.  M'Bheathaig.  From  Macbeth  come 
M'Bey,  M'Vey,  M'Veagh. 

Mac-echern  :  also  Englished  as  M'Kechnie  (*Mac-Echthtgerna). 

Mackellar,  G.  M*Ealair:  Filar  M'Kellar,  1595,  which  proves 
the  name  to  be  Ealair.  •  M.  Ir.  Flair,  the  Gaelic  form  of 
Lat.  Hilarius  borrowed. 

Mac-kessack,  also  Mackieson,  M'Kesek,  1475;  Kessokissone, 
Kessoksone,  1488;  Makesone,  1507;  Makysonn,  1400  (mostly 
in  Menteith  and  S.  Perth),  from  Kessoc,  Kessan,  personal 
names  circ.  1500,  also  St.  Kessog  or  Kessoch. 

Mackirdy,  G.  M*UPardaigh,  M'Urarthie,  1632  ;  M'Quiritei* 
1626;  Makmurrarty,  1547;  Makwerarty,  1517;  common  in 
Bute  and  Arran  of  old,  from  Muircheartach,  "  sea-director" 
(muir  and  ceart) ;  whence  also  M'Murtrie,  JPMutrie. 

Maonee  :  D.  of  L.  M'onee,  M'Nie,  1613 ;  M'Knie,  1594  ;  M'Kne, 
1 480  (Menteith  and  Breadalbaue).     From  mac-nia,  champion  ? 

Macqueen  :  in  Arg.  M'CuTne,  for  M'Shuibhne,  which  is  the 
best  spelling  for  Argyle. 

Roderick,  G.  Ruairidh  ;  the  terminal  -ri,  -reck  (old  gen.)  is  a 
reduced  form  of  righ,  king  (Zimmer,  who,  however,  regards 
Ruadri  as  from  N.  Hrdrekr,  but  this  in  Galloway  actually 
gives  Rerik,  M'Rerik,  MlGrerik,  1490,  1579,  thus  disproving 
Zimmer's  view).     M'Gririck  still  exists. 


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326  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

Ross,  G.  Rosaeh,  ROS ;  from  the  County  name  Ross,  so  named 
from  ros,  promontory. 

Shaw  :  G.  Seadhgh  now,  evidently  formerly  Si'ach  or  St'ack, 
Schiach  APKeich,  Weem  in  1637  (  =  Sha\v  M'Shaw),  Jn. 
Scheach,  Inverness  in  1451,  Jo.  and  Tko.  Scheoch,  king's 
"cursors"  1455-1462,  Sythaeh  Macmallon  iu  Badenooh  in 
1224-33,  Ferchar  films  Seth  there  iu  1234,  M'Sithig  in  B.  of 
Deer :  *Sithech,  M.  Ir.  sidhach,  wolf.  The  female  name 
Sitheag  was  common  in  the  Highlands  in  the  17th  century 
Shiak,  thihag).  The  Southern  Shaws — of  Ayrshire  and 
Greenock — are  from  De  Schaw  (1296),  from  Sc.  and  Eng. 
shaiv,  shaws ;  the  southern  name  influenced  the  northern  in 
spelling  and  pronunciation. 

OigfhFlg',  EighPig,  Euphemia,  M.  G.  Epic  (D.  of  L.),  med. 
documents  Africa,  Ir.  Aithbhric,  older  Affraic  (two  abbesses 
of  Kildare  so  called  in  738  and  833)  ;  from  Africa  ? 

Raonaild,  Raonaid,  Rachel  ;  from  Norse  Ragnhildr,  "  God's 
fight."     Cf.  Ronald. 


18th  MARCH,  1697. 

At  the  meeting  this  date,  Mr  W.  J.  Watson,  rector,  Royal 
Academy,  Inverness,  and  Mr  Murdo  Macdonald,  M.A.,  School- 
house,  Aldourie,  were  elected  ordinary  members  of  the  Society. 
Thereafter  Mr  Charles  Fergusson,  Fairburn,  read  his  sixth 
contribution  to  the  Society,  on  "  The  Early  History,  Legends, 
and  Traditions  of  Strathardle."     The  paper  was  as  follows :  — 

THE  EARLY  HISTORY,  LEGENDS,  AND  TRADITIONS 
OF  STRATHARDLE. 

1624. — So  very  disturbed  and  unsettled  had  the  Highlands 
of  Perthshire  become  at  this  time,  that  the  Government  saw 
that  something  must  be  done  to  put  a  stop  to  the  continual 
raids  and  feuds  of  the  clans,  so  we  find  that,  on  January  22  of 
this  year,  the  Privy  Council  issued  summons  to  the  landlords 
of  the  Highlands  to  attend  a  consultation  as  to  the  best  means 
to  suppress  crime.  So  the  Privy  Council  and  these  Highland 
landlords  met  in  Edinburgh,  and,  after  due  consideration, 
decided  as  follows :  — "  Sederunt  of  Council  and  Highland 
Landlords: — Decided — First:  That  choise  be  maid  of  twa 
Captanes,  who  salbe  callit  his  Majesties  Captanes;   the  one  for 


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Early  History  of  Strathatdle.  327 

the  Stewartry  of  Strathern,  Menteith,  and  Lennox:  and  the 
other  for  the  boundis  of  the  Earldom  of  Atholl,  the  Bishoprick 
of  Dtmkeld,  Glenshie,  Stratharle,  Strathtay,  Strathbrane, 
Breadalbane,  and  the  Braes  of  Angus :  and  that  ather  Captane 
half  xx.  men  under  his  charge  and  command;  authorised  with 
ample  power  and  commission  to  hunt,  follow,  and  pursue  with 
fyre  and  swerd  all  broken  lymmeris,  theives,  sornairs,  and 
masterful  oppressours  within  the  said  boundis,  and  yf  they  fall 
oute  of  these  boundis  to  follow  them  to  suche  outher  partis  as 
they  sail  flee  unto.  .  :  .  And  every  Captane,  with  his 
companie,  within  the  boundis  allowit  unto  thame  salbe  in 
continuall  action  in  watching  of  the  country  and  pursuite  of 
lymmers." — Privy  Council  Records,  Vol.  xii.,  p.  464. 

Each  company  was  to  consist  of  a  captain  and  twenty  men, 
and  the  pay  was  to  be  forty  shillings  Scots  for  a  captain,  and 
thirteen  shillings  and  four  pence  Scots  for  each  man,  per  day. 
The  captains  appointed  were: — For  No.  1  Company,  Strathern 
and  Menteith— -John  Stewart,  the  steward-depute  of  Menteith; 
and  for  No.  2  Company,  Athole — Robert  Stewart,  younger  of 
Ballechin.  This  was  the  beginning  of  that  policy  of  raising 
private  companies  of  the  natives,  to  keep  the  peace  along  the 
Highland  border,  which  ended  a  hundred  years  afterwards  in 
the  raising  of  the  famous  Black  Watch  in  the  same  district. 
In  the  present  case,  the  two  companies  of  twenty  men  were  far 
too  weak  to  do  any  good,  when  scattered  over  such  a  wide 
district,  even  though  they  were  "  kept  in  continuall  action  in 
watching  and  pursuite  of  lymmers." 

1626. — When  our  old  friend,  the  Baron  Cufcach  of  Straloch, 
died,  he  was  succeeded,  by  his  son,  Alexander,  who,  in  1617, 
had  married  Marjory  Graham,  daughter  of  M'Combie  of  Clay- 
pots;  and  I  now,  in  this  year,  find  William,  Earl  of  Tully- 
bardine,  who  had  succeeded  the  Earl  of  Atholl,  granting  Baron 
Alexander  a  charter  of  the  lands  of  Straloch  and  Inverchroskie. 

As  we  have  already  seen,  the  Baron  Cutach  was,  like  King 
David  of  old,  "  a  man  of  war  from  his  youth ; "  but,  as  is  often 
the  case,  even  in  the  most  warlike  families,  his  son,  Alexander, 
was  a  man  of  peace,  who,  instead  of  going  to  Kirkmichael  Kirk 
on  Sunday  with  a  strong  armed  guard,  and  his  piper  playing 
before  him,  followed  the  Scriptural  advice  of  beating  his  clay- 
more into  a  ploughshare ;  and  so  we  find  him  the  great  pioneer 
of  agriculture  on  the  Braes  of  Ardle, 

Before  this  time,  most  of  the  level  lands  of  Strathardle, 
along  both  sides  of  the  river,  were  covered  with  a  dense  jungle 
of  underwood,  alder,  hazel,  thorn,  and  brier,  whilst  most  of  the 


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328  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

cultivated  land  lay  high  up  on  the  braes,  by  Glenfernate, 
Dirnanean,  Ardchroskie,  Minnoch,  Whitefield,  Ashintully,  and 
the  Braes  of  Dounie.  As  no  underwood  grew  naturally  at 
that  elevation,  only  grass  and  heather,  it  was  easier  of  course, 
in  the  earlier  stages  of  agriculture,  to  reclaim  that  land,  so  that; 
high  ground  was  taken  in  at  an  early  date,  and  the  previous 
warlike  barons  were  quite  content  with  tneir  small  patches  of 
-  land  wherever  it  cost  least  labour  to  reclaim. 

It  was  not  on  agriculture  they  depended — no !  nor 
even  on  their  abundant  flocks  and  herds — to  support  their 
numerous  retainers;  theirs  were  the  thoughts  and  feelings  of 
Roderick  Dhu :  — 

"  Ask  we  those  savage  hills  we  tread, 
For  fattened  steer,  or  household  bread, 
Ask  we  for  flocks  these  shingles  dry, 
And  well  the  mountain  might  reply — 

'  To  you,  as  to  your  sires  of  yore, 
Belong  the  target  and  claymore ! 
I  give  you  shelter  in  my  breast, 
Your  own  good  blades  must  win  the  rest.' — 
Pent  in  this  fortress  of  the  North, 
Think'st  thou  we  will  not  sally  forth, 
To  spoil  the  spoiler  as  we  may, 
And  from  the  robber  rend  the  prey  ?" 

These  were  the  good  old  days,  "  when  might  was  right,"  and 
u  when  each  man  followed  the  fashion  of  his  clan ; "  and  so 
these  old  warlike  barons  had  gone  on,  spoiling  the  spoiler  and 
rending  the  prey,  when  and  where  they  thought  fit,  from  the 
earliest  dawn  of  history  till  the  time  we  have  now  come  to, 
when  times  began  to  change;  old  things  were  passing  away, 
and  the  dirk  and  claymore  were  beginning  to  give  way  to  the 
plough  and  the  pen;  and  even  the  proud  barons  of  Straloch 
began  to  reclaim  their  lands  from  the  wild  state  of  nature,  and 
to  cultivate  their  fields,  and  attend  to  me  breeding  of  cattle  on 
their  farms,  instead  of  lifting  them  from  their  foes,  as  had  been 
their  wont. 

The  worthy  old  minister  of  Glenmuick — the  Rev.  James 
Robertson — tells  us,  in  his  MS.  History  of  the  Barons  of 
Straloch,  how  his  great-grandfather,  the  third  Alexander,  at 
this  time  began  to  turn  his  attention  to  agriculture,  as  follows — - 

"  This  Alexander  III.  was  a  discreet,  sober,  peaceable 
gentleman,  the  most  frugal  and  wisest  that  were  in  the  family 


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Early  History  of  Strathardle.  329 

before  him.     Prudent   and  careful   of  his   affairs;    diligent  in 
attending  to  his  husbandry;    took  great  delight   in  cattle,   of 
which  he  had  considerable  herds,  not  only  in  his  own  possession, 
but  laid  out  by  way  of  '  bows'  (as  they  call  them)  in  the  hands 
of  such  of  his  tenants  as  lived  in  farms  proper  for  it.     By  these 
means,  under  God,  he  recovered  the  family  when  almost  sunk 
under  a  great  burden  of  debts  that  his  father  had  laid  it  under. 
I  have  often  been  told  by  old  men  that,  when  he  entered  on 
the  estate,  it  was  so  far  burdened  that  all  was  in  the  hands  of 
creditors    and   life-renters,    except   Minoch,    wherein    he   dwelt. 
Being  one  day  straightened  for  want  of  money,  he  spoke  to  one 
Fleming,  who  had  a  wadset  on  his  Mains  of  Inverchroskie,  to 
lend  him  some  money.     But  the  carle  answered  him  reproach- 
fully,   saying — 'Co    bheireadh    dhuibhse    airgaid?       C'ait    am 
beil  bonn  nur  creideas  V — '  Who  would  give  you  money  ?  Where 
is   your   foundation   of   credit'?'     This   insolent    answer    so    far 
vexed  him  that  he  went  and  sold  his  cattle,  made  money  of 
them,  and  paid  Fleming,  and  freed  his  Mains,  and  came  and 
dwelt  on  it,  and  kept  Minoch  for  grazing  and  fother  to  his 
beasts,  making  up  his  herds  again,  by  buying  here  and  there, 
after  he  had  come  to  Inverchroskie.     It  is  reported  that  in  the 
winter  he  consulted  an  honest  man  that  lived  over  against  him, 
in  a  place  called  Dalnaguilsich  (the  level  field,  on  the  south  side 
of  the  Ardle,   east  of  where  Aldchroskie  burn  falls  into  the 
river),  where  he  might  get  fother  to  buy  for  his  beasts.     The 
other  answered — '  Baron,  you  are  still  buying  victual :  my  advice 
to  you  is,  either  fit  your  barn  to  your  byre,  or  your  byre  to 
your  barn;,  and  he  observed  to  him  that  there  was  a  field 
under  his  house  called  Press-an-droin,  all  overgrown  with  thorns, 
which,  if  freed  of  the  thorns  and  well  dressed,  might  keep  him 
from  buying.     This  advice   had   such   an   impression   on   him, 
that  from  that  day  forth  his  thoughts  ran  much  upon  Press- 
an-droin.     At  length  he  convened  his  tenants,  and  invited  his 
neighbours,   and   fell  heartily   to   work,    and   in   a   short   time 
rooted  out  the  thorns  and  other  shrubs  that  had  encumbered 
that  ground;  and  what  of  it  could  not  be  tilled  he  caused  dig, 
and  the  ground  did  not  disappoint  his  expectation,  for  we  are 
told    that    it    carried    many    folds    to    him    for    many    years. 
This   encouraged   him   to   enlarge   his   Mains   in    other   places, 
build  an  enclosure  above  his  house,  and  to  go  on  successfully 
in  many  improvements.     His  care  and  conduct  and  surprising 
success  being  observed  in  the  neighbourhood,  so  far  raised  his 
reputation  and  advanced  his  credit,   that  they  cheerfully  lent 
him  money  when  he  had  use  for  it.     It  is   observed  of  this 


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330  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

Alexander,  that  though  he  entered  to  his  estate  under  great 
burdens  and  difficulties,  and  lived  on  it  but  twenty-two  years, 
yet,  by  the  blessing  of  God  on  his  wise  and  prudent  manage- 
ment during  that  short  time,  he  not  only  paid  all  his  debts  and 
freed  all  his  estate,  but  gained  besides  what  handsomely  pro- 
vided for  his  family,  and  had  £1000  besides  at  his  death, 
wherewith  he  was  to  have  purchased  Maxwell  of  Telling's 
superiority  of  the  third  part  of  the  large  parish  of  Kirkmichael, 
which  was  of  considerable  value  before  the  feu  duties  were  sold 
to  the  feuars;  out  his  untimely  death,  in  1636,  spoiled  all  this 
project." 

After  having  nothing  to  write  about  but  wars  and  rumours 
of  wars  for  centuries,  it  is  pleasant  to  see  the  arts  of  peace 
beginning  to  take  root,  and  to  find  the  fertile  haughs  and 
fields  of  the  strath  brought  under  cultivation.  This 
field  of  Preas-an-droighionn,  that  we  read  of  here,  is  the  level 
ground  above  the  road  just  below  Balvarran  House;  it  means 
the  field  of  thorn  bushes,  a  perfect  thicket  of  which,  before  this 
time,  covered  all  the  low  grounds  from  Kirkmichael  to  Kin- 
drogan,  which  latter  place  takes  its  name  from  tae  thorns 
ending  there — "  Ceann-an-Droighionn,"  the  end  of  the  thorns. 

1629. — On  7th  March,  Robert  Fergusson  of  Derculich  and 
Dunfallandy  was  served  heir  to  certain  lands  in  the  barony  of 
Douny,  viz. :  — Over  Douny,  Middle  Douny,  Borland,  Edmar- 
nochty,  Cultalony,  Stronymuck,  Pitbrane,  and  Glenderby,  iu 
Strathardle;  and  those  of  Finnegand,'  Inneredrie,  and  its  mill, 
Bynanmore,  Bynanbeg,  Riedorach,  Kerrow,  Cuthill,  Dalmungie, 
and  Glenbeg,  in  Glenshee;  paying  £32. — Retours,  Perth,  3G7. 
And,  on  18th  July,  Robert  Stewart  was  served  heir  to  his 
father,  Lord  James  Stewart  of  Ballechin,  to  various  lands, 
amongst  them,  part  of  the  lands  of  Pitlochry,  with  their 
pendicle  in  Glenbrierachan  of  Edraharvie;  and  the  lands  of 
Kinnaird,  with  its  pendicle  of  Clunskea  on  the  water  of 
Brierachan :  — "  4  libratis  terrarum  de  Pitlochrie,  et  pendicula 
ejusdem  in  Glenbrierachan  nuncupata  Eddaraharvie :  terras  de 
Kynnaird  cum  pendicula  vocatis  Clunysca  super  aqua  de  Brochin 
infra  parochiam  de  Mwling." 

1640. — A  stirring  event  took  place  in  July  of  this  year, 
which  has  ever  since  been  famous  in  song  and  story,  viz.,  the 
burning  of  the  "  Bonnie  House  o'  Airlie."  Who  has  not  heard 
that — 

It  fell  on  a  day,  on  a  bonnie  summer  day, 

When  corn  grows  green  and  barley, 

That  there  fell  out  a  great  dispute 

Between  Argyle  and  Airlie. 


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Early  History  of  Strathardle.  331 

Argyle  he  has  ta'en  a  hunder  o'  his  men. 
A  hunder  o'  his  men  and  mairly, 
And  he's  gane  doun  by  the  back  o'  Dunkel 
To  plunder  the  Bonnie  House  o'  Airlie. 

Lady  Ogilvie  looked  o'er  her  castle  wa\ 
And  oh !  but  she  sighed  sairly, 
To  see  Argyle  an'  a'  his  men 
Come  to  plunder  the  Bonnie  House  o'  Airlie. 

"  Come  doun,  come  doun,  Madame  Ogilvie,"  he  cried , 

"  Come  doun  and  kiss  me  fairlie, 

Or  I  swear  by  the  sword  I  haud  in  my  hand, 

I  winna  leave  a  stan'in  stane  in  Airlie." 

"  I  winna  come  doun,  ye  fause  Argyle, 

Nor  yet  will  I  kiss  ye  fairlie, 

Tho'  ye  swear  by  the  sword  ye  haud  in  yer  hand 

That  yc  winna  leave  a  stan'in  stane  in  Airlie. 

"  O  had  my  ain  gudeman  been  at  hame, 

As  he's  awa'  wi'  Charlie, 

There's  no  a  Campbell  in  a'  Argyle 

Dare  hae  trod  on  the  bonnie  green  o'  Airlie. 

"  But  since  we  can  haud  out  na  mair, 
My  hand  I  offer  fairlie : 
Oh !  lead  me  doun  to  yonder  glen, 
That  I  mayna  see  the  burnin''  o'  Airlie." 

He  has  ta'en  her  by  the  trembling  hand, 
But  he's  no  ta'en  her  fairlie, 
For  he's  led  her  up  to  a  hie  hill  tap, 
Where  she  saw  the  burnin'  o'  Airlie. 

Clouds  o'  smoke  and  flames  so  hie, 
Soon  left  the  walls  but  barely ; 
And  she  laid  her  doun  on  that  hill  to  die, 
When  she  saw  the  burnin'  o'  Airlie. 

We  all  know  that  poets  nave  a  certam  amount  of  licence, 
and  many  a  good  old  song  is  not  literally  correct  as  to  facts, 
and  though  it  always  grieves  me  to  knock  the  romance  out  of 
either  a  good  old  song  or  story,  yet  I  must  say  here  that  this 
beautiful  song  gives  Argyle  credit  for  personally  leading  his 
clan  to  plunder  their  foes,  whereas,  even  though  circumstances 
were   most   favourable,    as   Lady    Ogilvie's   gudeman    and    her 


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332  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness 

gallant  sons  were  "  a'  awa'  wi'  Charlie,"  and  only  herself  left  10 
guard  the  castle,  yet  Argyle  kept  at  a  safe  distance,  just  as  he 
did  five  years  after,  when  he  three  times  fled  on  board  his 
galley  and  sailed  south,  leaving  his  clansmen  to  the  tender 
mercies  of  Montrose.     Argyle  himself  never  went 

"  lipun  by  the  back  o'  Dunkel 
To  plunder  the  Bonnie  House  o'  Airlie." 

But  he  sent  his  kinsman,  Dougal  Campbell  of  Inverawe,  to  do 
so,  with  strict  ordres  to  burn  the  castle — "  Ye  shall  fyre  it 
weill,  that  so  it  may  be  destroyed."  But,  with  his  usual  craft, 
he  wishes  to  keep  himself  clear,  so  he  cautiously  adds — "  Bot 
ye  neid  not  lett  know  that  you  have  directions  from  me  to 
fyre  it." 

So  very  anxious  was  Argyle  to  secure  for  himself  all  the 
"  haill  nolt  (cattle),  shiepe,  horss,  and  mearis,  perteineing  to  my 
Lord  Ogilbie,"  that  he  could  not  wait  for  the  return  of  the 
expedition  from  Glenisla  to  his  own  countrv,  but  he  must  needs 
come  all  the  way  to  Strathardle  to  meet  them  at  the  bottom  of 
Glen  Fernate. 

The  original  letter  of  instructions,  which  Argyle  gave  Dougal 
Campbell,  for  the  plundering  and  burning  of  Airlie  (or  rather 
Forthar  Castle),  is  still  preserved  at  Inverawe  House,  and  as 
it  is  a  great  curiosity,  showing,  as  it  does,  the  cool,  business  way 
in  which  war  was  carried  on  in  those  days  between  rival  clans, 
I  may  give  it  in  full :  — 

"  July,  1640.  Dowgall, — I  mynd,  God  willing,  to  lift  from 
this  the  morrow,  and  therefore  ye  shall  meitt  me  the  morrow 
at  nicht  at  Stronarnot,  in  Strathardill ;  and  cause  bring  alonges 
with  you  the  haill  nolt  and  shiepe  that  ye  have  fundin  per- 
teineing to  my  lord  Ogilbie.  As  for  the  horrs  and  mearis  that 
ye  have  gottine  perteining'to  him,  ye  shall  not  fail  to  direcjb 
thame  home  to  the  Strane  moor.  I  desyre  not  that  they  be  in 
our  way  at  all,  and  to  send  thame  the  neirest  way  home.  And 
albeit  ye  should  be  the  langer  in  following  me,  j^ett  ye  shall  not 
fail  to  stay  and  demolishe  my-  lord  Ogilbies  hous  of  Forthar. 
Sie  how  ye  can  cast  off  the  irone  yeattis  and  windows,  and  tak 
down  the  rooff;  and  if  ye  find  it  will  be  langsome,  ye  shall 
fyre  it  weill,  that  so  it  may  be  destroyed.  Bot  ye  neid  not  to 
latt  know  that  ye  have  directions  from  me  to  fyir  it:  only  ye 
may  say  that  ye  have  warrand  to  demolishe  it,  and  that,  to 
mak  the  work  short,  ye  will  fyr  it.  Iff  ye  mak  any  stay  for 
doing  of  this,  send  fordwart  the  goodis.  So  referring  this  to 
your  cair,  I  rest,  your  freynd,  Argyll." 


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Early  History  of  Strathardle.  33& 

The  last  verse  of  the  song  commemorates  how  "  Dowgall" 
carried  out  but  too  completely  the  furtive  and  confidential 
orders  he  had  received  from  his  Chief — 

"  Clouds  o'  smoke  and  flames  sae  hie, 
Soon  left  the  wa's  but  barely; 
And  she  laid  her  doun  on  that  hill  to  die, 
When  she  saw  the  burning  o'  Airlie." 

I  may  here  say  that  the  song  correctly  describes  the  route  of 
the  Campbells  on  their  way  to  the  Ogilvie  country — 

"  And  he's  gane  doun  v     the  back  o'  Dunkel 
To  plunder  the  Bonnie  House  o'  Airlie." 

They  came  ^y  Breadalbane,  Logierait,  up  the  Braes  of  Tully- 
met,  and  through  the  Pass  of  Athollford  at  the  head  of 
Glenc]erby,  and  down  that  glen,  which  is  literally  at  "the 
back  o'  Dunkeld,"  and  by  Kirkmichael  and  Glen  Kilrey,  to 
Airlie. 

There  had  been  an  old  feud  between  the  Ogilvies  and  the 
Campbells,  as  we  have  already  seen  that  the  Argyle  men  many 
times  raided  Glenisla,  especially  in  1591 ;  and  as  the  two  chiefs 
now  took  opposite  sides  in  the  politics  of  the  day,  Airlie  going 
for  the  King,  and  Argyle  for  the  Covenant,  of  course  a  state  of 
civil  war  was  the  time  to  gratify  private  revenge,  and  settle  an 
old  clan  feud. 

Argyle  had  his  innings  first,  when  he  burnt  the  Bonnie 
House  o'  Airlie,  but  Airlie  had  ample  revenge  on  the  Campbell 
Clan  four  years  after,  on  many  a  bloody  field,  under  the  gallant 
Montrose,  and  finally  sqared  accounts  with  Argyle  in  1645,  by 
the  burning  of  Castle  Campbell,  or,  as  it  was  then  called,  the 
Castle  of  Gloom,  of  which  we  have  a  *rood  account  in  "  Perth, 
its  Annals  and  Archives/'  page  279,  where  it  says: — "Mon- 
trose descended  once  more  from  the  mountains  in  the  glory  of 
victory,  with  an  augmented  army,  and  soon  after  moved  to  the 
westward.  After  threatening  Perth,  where,  the  Covenanters 
occupied  entrenchments,  he  made  his  way  through  the  county 
of  Kinross,  on  leaving  which  he  skirted  the  Ochills,  in  the 
southern  part  of  Perthshire,  and,  chiefly  at  the  instigation  of 
the  Ogilvies,  as  a  retaliation  for  the  destruction  of  '  the  Bonnie 
Hous  o'  Airlie/  five  years  before,  he  doomed  to  the  flames  one 
of  the  most  magnificent  of  the  old  baronial  strongholds  in 
Scotland — magnificent  still,  even  in  its  extensive  ruins.  This 
was  the  noble  castle,  the  property  of  Argyle,   occupying  the 


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334  Gaelic  Society  of  Inverness. 

summit  of  a  most  picturesque  and  remarkable  eminence  in  the 
gorge  of  a  romantic  glen  in  the  Ochills,  near  Dollar,  Its 
majestic  ruins  and  most  singular  situation  are  highly  attractive 
to  tourists  to  this  day.  It  is  still  called  Castle  Campbell,  but 
formerly  it  was  styled  Castle  Gloom,  or  the  Castle  of  Gloom. 
The  situation  corresponds  with  this.  It  is  accessible  only  from 
behind ;  and  the  visitor  has  first  to  go  up  the  hill,  then  to  come 
down  again,  and  approach  by  a  narrow  access  betwixt  two  deep 
and  gloomy  ravines,  each  upwards  of  three  hundred  feet  deep, 
and  having  a  rushing  mountain  torrent  on  each  side — the  one 
known  by  the  name  of  Grief,  and  the  other  Care — both  uniting 
at  the  foot  of  the  promontory  in  the  rivulet  named  Dolour,  half 
a  mile  above  the  town  of  Dollar — said  to  be  a  corruption,  or 
rather  a  different  orthography,  of  the  word.  Sir  Walter  Scott 
justly  remarks  that  '  the  destruction  of  many  a  meaner  habita- 
tion, by  the  same  unscrupulous  and  unsparing  spirit  of  ven- 
gor.nce,  has  long  been  forgotten;  but  the  majestic  ruins  of 
Castle  Campbell  still  excite  a  sigh,  in  those  that  view  them, 
over  the  nurseries  of  civil  war/  " 

Having  now  seen  the  Ogilvies  amply  revenged  on  the 
Campbells  for  burning  the  Bonnie  House  o'  Airlie,  we  must 
turn  to  other  scenes,  as  these  were  stirring  times  for 
Strathardle  during  the  wars  of  Montrose,  so  I  may  here  tell 
you  some  of  the  exploits  of  our  most  famous  archer — the  most 
expert  bowman,  and  one  of  the  greatest  worthies,  ever  known 
in  our  district. 

1644. — At  this  time  there  lived  in  Glen  Taitneach,  a  little 
above  the  Spittal  of  Glenshee,  oneJohn  Grant,  known  in  Gaelic 
as  the  "  Cam-Ruadh" — the  ,  one-eyed,  red-haired  man — whose 
feats  with  the  bow  surpassed  all  others,  and  whose  fame  is  still 
fresh  all  over  the  central  Highlands.  James  Grant,  in  his 
"  Legends  of  the  Braes  o'  Mar,"  thus  describes  our  hero :  — 

"  The  Cam-Ruadh  was  as  ugly  a  five-feet-high  carl  as  you 
would  wish  to  see  on  the  longest  summer  day's  journey.  He 
had  a  provoking  little  warty  nose,  that  came  out  between  his 
eyes  broad  and  flat  like  my  thumb,  and  turned  up  into  the  air 
in  a  most  impertinent  pug,  just  as  if  it  was  not  worth  its  pains 
to  smell  anything  earthly.  A  pair  of  broad  cheeks,  whereon 
you  could  see  every  rough,  red,  knotted  vein,  like  the  ditches  of 
a  corn  field  on  a  dry  summer,  ended  on  each  side  of  the  nose, 
with  a  lump  below  the  eyes,  in  a  thin  crop  of  red  whiskers,  the 
birse  of  which  went  away  scrambling  everywhere,  as  in  a 
desperate  search  for  their  neighbours.  He  had  but  one  eye — 
a  large  border  of  red  surrounding  a  bright  circle  of  blue — so 


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Early  History  of  Strathardle.  335 

bright  indeed  that  it  shone  like  a  star.  The  frame  of  the 
Cam-Ruadh  was  as  strong  as  a  block  of  oak.  His  legs  were 
shockingly  bandied,  and  his  feet  were  as  flat  as  shingles.  What 
of  that?  'A  man's  a  man  for  a'  that;'  and  the  Cam-Ruadh 
was  possessed  of  many  enviable  qualifications  and  acquirements. 
He  could  distinguish  a  blue-bottle  fly  on  a  granite  stone  at  a 
distance  of  twenty  yards  with  his  one  eye.  He  could  send  an 
a